As we move through Eastertide, we begin to anticipate Pentecost as the amazing conclusion to this season. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit was breathed into the disciples and they launched themselves out of the room they were closed up in and into the streets of Jerusalem, filled with energy and a story to tell. On fire (not literally), they spoke to those crowded in the marketplaces of Jerusalem in every language of the world, and all the people understood them. And what they heard from the disciples was the story of Jesus; his life, his death and his resurrection. And the Spirit didn’t stop with the disciples, the breath of God blew through all of those who listened and believed that day, just as the Holy Spirit has continued to blow through the church in every age and in every place since then. Pentecost is a great day in the church: it’s our birthday – so let’s celebrate!
If you were to walk by my house you would see the colourful butterfly that I taped up on Easter morning to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus in my front window. It’s still there. Did you put butterflies in your window for Easter? Let’s add to our window displays and place pinwheels in our windows and among our flower boxes and garden beds on Pentecost morning to proclaim the blowing of the Holy Spirit through the church with new life.
If you didn’t get butterflies up on Easter Sunday, it’s Eastertide and you can still put some up now if you’d like.
So, now on to our Pentecost pinwheel project.
This year, I expect we will need to party in small family groups or alone in our homes, and share our collective stories and shouts of joy through Zoom meetups and emails with our church family. It is hard to party without lots of people to rub shoulders with, but we can party differently by sharing our joy with our neighbours through a front window, balcony, and/or garden display of colour. This year, we’ll add some vibrant colour with pinwheels that reveal the breath of God to everyone who walks by.
Please feel free to circulate the following Pentecost activity to all of the members of your church, young and older.
Pinwheels for Pentecost
Some Things to Think and/or Talk About
How do you know when the wind is blowing?
What happens to things when the wind blows?
Think of stories you’ve heard and your own experiences of the wind. What are some of the great things wind can do? What are some of the most powerful things wind can do?
A Story About Pentecost to Read
The story of the birth of the church, called Pentecost, is found in the Book of Acts, which follows the four Gospels found at the beginning of the New Testament. In chapter 2 we read an amazing story and the affect it had on the apostles and the people of Jerusalem who were transformed that day. You can read all about it in Acts 2: 1-13 (14-42), or in the Spark Story Bible starting on page 502, or in Growing in God’s Love: A Story Bible starting on page 288.
Think and/or Talk About Some/All of the Following Questions
What amazed you in this story?
What puzzled you in this story?
Our story tells us that the Holy Spirit came to the disciples like a huge wind, blowing through the room. When the wind blows it changes things. I wonder how the disciples were changed on the day of Pentecost?
I wonder how others were changed because the disciples were changed?
I wonder what those people did when they went home after experiencing the Holy Spirit through the disciples on this Pentecost day?
I wonder what the Holy Spirit looks like when it blows through the people of our church?
I wonder what we might do differently when the Holy Spirit blows through you and me?
Celebrate the Coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
Make a simple pinwheel to display in your window or garden on the morning of Pentecost. Pinwheels show us that the wind is blowing when they spin wildly. Our pinwheels will remind us and the world that on this day the Holy Spirit blew like the wind through the room where the disciples were and changed them in exciting ways and helped them to tell others about Jesus and God’s great love for us all.
You should be able to find all of the items you need to make a pinwheel in your home. If you do not have any coloured paper, colour a white piece of paper on both sides with lots of symbols from our story. The heavier the paper, the better the pinwheel will spin. You can pin your pinwheel onto a dowel, a pencil, a stick, whatever you have available.
On Pentecost Sunday hang your pinwheel in your window or put it in your garden to blow with the wind and let your neighbours know that this is a great day of celebration. You can add to your party atmosphere by blowing lots of bubbles for the neighbourhood.
You can make bubble liquid by combining 2 cups of water with 1/3 of a cup of dish soap. Stir slowly to prevent creating soap foam. Then, slowly add either 1 tsp of glycerin or 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp of corn syrup to the mixture – again stirring slowly. Hunt through your kitchen utensils for any items with holes in them that you can blow bubbles through. Dip them in the liquid, go outside and watch the affects of the wind in and on your bubbles. Have fun!
Take photos of your pinwheel (and bubble blowing) and email it to your church so they can share your pictures with the rest of the church. Keep your pinwheel in your window or garden until your first day back to worship in your church building as a church family together once again. Bring your pinwheel(s) (and your Easter butterflies) with you on that Sunday to display in your church as you celebrate this great day together.
Holy Spirit, who comes like and wind and dances through the church like flames of fire, fill us with delight and transform us to be apostles in your world. Amen