Brian Peterson, New Testament Professor at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC, writes,
“For John, the Spirit is the Advocate, the continuing and comforting presence of Jesus with the church, and the source of peace. For Paul, the Spirit is that which unites us to Christ, makes us into his body, and gives particular gifts to each person for the sake of the community. For Luke-Acts, the Spirit is the power of God, the mighty burning wind that blows the church into new and unexpected places of ministry.
Of the three, the portrayal of the Spirit in Acts is the most disturbing. Who knows where such a Spirit might blow?”
Now, doesn’t that just sound deliciously exciting? Oh, the challenges and the possibilities. Where will God’s Spirit take us? Fasten your seatbelts!
- Acts 2:1-21 – God Put Fire on Their Heads!, elementary – How our world needs a Pentecost like the one we read about in Acts 2. How desperately we need the understanding with which those poor, confused people were gifted. As they gathered together, each speaking their own language, each coming with their own culture and understanding of the world, each unable to know and comprehend the people around them, only experiencing the cacophony of mass confusion, what a gift it was to have God’s Spirit come swooshing into the room to give them the gift of clarity. Children understand confusion and being left in the dark. This theme is not a mystery to them. As adults speak over their heads and tell them, “You’ll understand when you’re older,” they’re often left to fend for themselves. This is a lesson for young and old, alike, as we all learn together the importance of hearing one another, seeking understanding, and knowing the value of the person standing next to us in the room. God Put Fire on Their Heads!, Preschool – For our littlest learners, remember that, as quickly as they absorb information, we need to be filling them with good stuff. This is a good opportunity to fill them with the beginnings of an understanding of how God’s Spirit lives and moves in their lives. WHOOSH! God’s Spirit can come in and help them feel happy and loving, just as it helped those people talk to each other!