On Sunday May 8, the Sunday School class continued their study of the book of Acts. This book tells about the apostles and their missions to spread the words and deeds of Jesus Christ. They baptized thousands of people during their travels.
Acts 16:16-34 relates a mission story about Paul. After casting out the evil spirit in a slave girl who predicted the future, Paul and his friend, Silas, were imprisoned. Instead of being angry at God for their predicament, they prayed and sang hymns to Him. God sent an earthquake that freed them from their prison cell. The jailer was so impressed with the way Paul and Silas behaved and the miracle that had set them free that he asked them about Jesus. Then the jailer asked Paul to baptize him and his household.
We learned that when we are troubled, worried, or scared, we should not blame God but turn to Him for help to get us through those difficult times. The students made prayer beads to help them to pray and as a reminder that God is always with us.
Before all the miracles and baptisms that we read about in Acts during the previous Sundays, something miraculous happened in Jerusalem during the Jewish harvest festival of Pentecost. God filled the Apostles and other disciples with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the presence of God in our lives. It is God’s light and love that shines out of us showing others that we are Christians.
It had been 10 days since Jesus had ascended into Heaven for the last time and He told His followers to stay in Jerusalem to await for the arrival of the Holy Spirit. They were all gathered in a room when a great wind blew in with a loud noise. Over the heads of the people, little tongues of fire were dancing . Yet no one was getting burned and the great wind didn’t blow out the fires.
That wasn’t all. Now when they spoke, they could speak in foreign languages that they had never been able to speak. Many foreigners were in Jerusalem for the festival and they heard these people speaking their languages. They were amazed and when Peter spoke to the crowd and told them about Jesus, many of them became believers. Thousands of these people were baptized that day.
The Holy Spirit gave the apostles the language skills, strength, hope, love, and courage to travel all over the known world to spread the news of Jesus Christ. Because of what happened at Pentecost, it is recognized as the birthday of the Christian Church. Happy Birthday, Trinity Episcopal Church.
The students made stained glass windows out of colored sticker shapes with a giant flame symbolizing the Holy Spirit. On it were written the words of Jesus who is quoted in Luke 24:49, “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from Heaven.”