In today’s readings, the Holy Spirit comes to Jesus’ followers. First they heard the sound like a wind storm. What would that sound like? Can you make the sound of a wind storm? I think it was louder than that! Then each of them had something rest on them like a tongue of fire. Who here is a Jesus-follower? You and you and you! You each get a flame, one for each of you. Each person here has one, too, because each person has the Holy Spirit.
Why do you think the Holy Spirit was like a flame? What is a flame like? Hot, powerful, changing, emitting light. Have you ever heard someone say, “He was so excited he was on fire.” That means that person was energetic and lively about something. What are you excited for? What are you on fire about? Jesus was on fire for justice and love. He was excited about making sure that people had enough food and were healed and were part of community in relationship with others. He gave us the Holy Spirit so we would be on fire for some of the same things he is excited and on fire about.
Can you find some flames and pictures of flames around the church this morning?
When the people received the Holy Spirit, they had abilities and powers from God to help them share the good news of God’s love. They started to be able to speak in different languages and understand people who spoke in different languages. They started to see things the way God sees things. Started to dream the same kinds of dreams that God has. Some of you might remember dreams
you have at night while you are sleeping. There is another kind of dream that people have when they have hopes for the future. Maybe you’ve heard Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. He wasn’t speaking of a dream he had while he was sleeping, but a hope he had in his heart that someday his kids who had dark brown skin could walk with someone who had light skin and they could be friends, and how people would work for peace together, and how people wouldn’t judge each other but love each other. This is the kind of dream that God dreams and that people begin to dream, too, when they have the Holy Spirit. God wrote some of God’s dreams in the Bible, but also gives them to people like you and me and all these people.
I’d like to invite each person to write on their flame their hope and dream for this world or this neighborhood. When someone has one, hold it up and one of the kids will come get it and we’ll tape it to these balloons to remind us of the Holy Spirit with us in community all around us and within us.
Dreams are powerful. They can motivate us, or cause us to take action, to work toward that dream. There is another phrase, “To light a fire under someone.” That means to get them moving. God wants to light a fire under us, to get us moving toward justice and love, and one of the ways God does that is by sharing God’s exciting dreams for all creation.