Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Leader Resource 5, Pentecost and Damascus
Preparation for Activity
- Read Leader Resource 5, Pentecost and Damascus, until you are comfortable presenting it.
Description of Activity
Youth explore the importance of Pentecost and Saul's conversion as acts that established Christianity.
Brainstorm Christian holidays. Ask youth which of the holidays named are the most important. Participants will know that Christmas and Easter are important. If they do not name it, say that Pentecost is one of the three most important holidays. The events of Pentecost are particularly important for Christians who believe in the Trinity (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit: three distinct entities that may act as one). It is an important story that helps explain how Christianity spread from a dozen apostles to billions of people worldwide.
Ask youth to listen while the story of Jesus continues. Read or seek volunteers to read Leader Resource 5, Pentecost and Damascus.
Process with these questions. Ask:
- Have you ever heard of the saying "The Road to Damascus?"
- Have you ever experienced such a turning point? Can you imagine how such an event as Saul experienced could lead one to devote your life to being a disciple?
- Why did the Holy Spirit enable people to speak to each other in native tongues? Ask if anyone knows the story of the Tower of Babel from the Hebrew Scriptures. If not, tell them that in the beginning, everyone spoke the same language because they were all descendants from the first humans. But because people started to think too much of themselves, God struck them, and afterward people spoke in many different tongues and no longer understood each other. This caused fracture and separation into different tribes and nations. Here, the Holy Spirit-a gift from God-unites tribes by enabling people to hear members of different nations in their own native tongues. Through the Holy Spirit, people are reunited into one tribe-the followers of Jesus.
- What was it about the Holy Spirit that enticed people to become baptized?
- Though the Bible never explicitly professes a Trinity, the Holy Spirit, which is manifest here, is the third member of what Trinitarian Christians today believe is the Trinity. Explore how the three parts interact: God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Acknowledge that the Holy Spirit can be confusing. Not all Christians even agree on its nature and much is still written about the way the Holy Spirit is manifest and what exactly it embodies. Also, note that though the vast majority of Christians believe in the Trinity, not all do. Some denominations, such as Jehovah Witnesses, believe in God in one form.