Youth talk: Pentecost

1. Introduction

Gather into groups of 6-8, one leader per group. Form big circle and hold hands. Leader initiates with each group a couple of activities – when the leader squeezes the hand of the person next, that person has to pass the squeeze on around the group. Try the ‘electric boogaloo’, the hip hop move that looks like an electric shock passing around the group. Sit in groups.

2. Tell the story of Pentecost

They’d seen him rise up [as I told you last week. One moment, there he was with them, in all his mysterious I-thought-you-was-dead-but-here-you-are-in-the-flesh glory, and the next he was off into the clouds, and they felt utterly left alone. He’s told them what he expected of them: much more than what they’d done when he walked the earth with them, and now they were left to it: where to start? What to do? It wasn’t safe as one of his followers, the authorities were still arresting anyone associated with the Man, and well, they were scared for their lives…

So they sat in the room and waited. They prayed and fretted about it, and they waited. They waited, lost. Just … waiting.

And then room with FILLED with action – the most amazing experience that words just seemed to fall short of the experience, and when they later tried to tell Luke about it, it sounded all a bit weird: flames and noise, and wind and power… just raw power that seemed to come from nowhere: the kind of power that was just authentically of God. And everyone in that room was changed, touched by something which was both scary and yet the most comforting thing they had ever experienced, and they just knew it was right.

They burst out the room, no longer unsure, no longer afraid of the authorities, and they grabbed the first people the saw in the streets and started telling them about what they just experienced and what the Man had done, and now how this spirit, this… holy spirit had made it all clear that everything the Man had said was just so right.

The people in that room were just like you and I: simple, working folk: off the fishing boat, from the north east where the posh folks in Jerusalem laughed at your accent; and yet, when they spoke, it was just so each person, no matter where they were from could understand, could feel, could make sense of what they meant about the Man.

Oh, there were some sceptics: people who though it was all a bit nutty – oh, they’re drunk they shrugged, and went on their way, but Peter, who’d never been brave enough to say anything in public before stood up and said “We can’t be drunk – it’s only 9am! This is because of what they said a long, long time ago. The prophet Joel said: “God would pour out his spirit on all: men and women, young and old, rich and poor – and he has done this through the death and most importantly, the rising of that Man Jesus from death”.

The power of that Spirit is still here, still working, still doing marvellous things. In this place.

3.. Show the video

Acts 2, Pentecost
Created for the National Youth Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, 2007

Ask them to consider how the power of God might transform them, and enable them to share with others something special, such as the power passed on from one to another by the electric boogaloo, or the Good News of Jesus Christ.