A Blogpost by Lindsey Goodyear
Who’s in need of a “Mini Mess”? I know I am! Lately it seems that every blog I write, I go into hoping it will be the last one I write about the quarantine. As it stands, it looks as though staying home may be in the cards for all of us for a bit. Yes, they are slowly adding new phases to get us back to normal, but to protect those in our family and communities, the majority of us are hunkering down and staying put. With Pentecost fast approaching, I felt like it was the right time to send home another Messy Church plan to keep us in good spirits.
For those who don’t know the story, here’s a very short summary. Pentecost is the name of a Jewish harvest festival. Just as Easter (in Greek “pascha”) is a holiday derived of an adaptation of the Jewish Passover, so too Pentecost is a Christian holiday derived from the Jewish festival of Shavuot. The Apostles, and other followers of Jesus, were celebrating the Jewish festival in Jerusalem, when they heard the sound of a mighty wind and “tongues of fire” came down on them. Then, the Holy Spirit descended on them. Remarkably, the attendees of the festival found themselves immediately being able to speak in other languages without difficulty. People were no longer separated by language barriers and thus, the gospel was available to the world. No matter your gender, age, or color of skin, every person from every nation on God’s Earth could now know the Lord. Because we were now all one under the Gospel of our Lord, the Pentecost is also referred to the birth of the church. Pentecost, which means fifty, is always fifty days after Easter. This year, we celebrate on May 31. Please use the following “Mini Mess” as a guide to celebrate God’s gift to the world with your family!
There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; since you are all one in Christ JesusGalatians 3:2
Three Pentecost Crafts
Need: Construction paper, paint, straws.
To recreate the mighty wind the Apostles witnessed, drop small amounts of paint all over your piece of construction paper. Next, use the straw to blow the paint and watch as it creates magnificent patterns. Try blowing from all directions to see what cool new art emerges.
*NOTE– This activity is much more fun if you use many different colors of paint!
**Talk about: What is the strongest wind you’ve ever been in? How did it make you feel? Were you excited? Scared?
Need: Sticks from outside, 24” pieces of ribbon (reds, oranges, yellows, if possible), hot glue gun.
Once you’ve collected the sticks, cut the ribbons to the appropriate sizes. Place a dab of glue at one end of the stick and begin attaching the ribbons (there should be enough room for 6 or 7 pieces depending on the size of your stick). Once you’ve glued the pieces, cut a small portion of ribbon and wrap it around the glued pieces to ensure their security. Place a final dab of glue for the small security ribbon and you are ready! Go outside and run around with the sticks overhead and watch as the wind turns the ribbons into something resembling fire.
**Talk about: What do you think was going through the minds of the Apostles when they saw “tongues of fire” above their heads? Would you have run away or stayed?
Need: Foreign language book or access to internet.
Since the language barrier was broken when the Holy Spirit descended, take some time to learn a phrase in another language. Try and have each family member learn a different phrase in a different language that they can recite and teach each other when you sit down for dinner. We are so fortunate to have access to any language in the world. Let’s take advantage of that access and teach each other!
**Talk about: Of all the beautiful languages found all over the world, what is the one language you wish you were fluid in?
Celebration: You might say the events at the Pentecost was the Holy Spirit’s way of exploding into the entire world. He caused a reaction inside the hearts of people far and wide when He promised His unconditional love to all who follow. A particularly good way of visually showing a reaction is through the use of baking soda and vinegar. When the vinegar touches the baking soda, a mini explosion happens! The soda begins to bubble, grow, and spread. Cover a plate with baking soda and, using a dropper of vinegar, drop small amounts of vinegar around the plate. With each drop, use the opportunity to explain the reaction your heart has because God is a part of you. Pass the dropper around the table and let every family member take a turn. This is a great opportunity to learn all the ways God brings joy to not only our hearts, but those of our family members, on a daily basis. Try to make this more than a celebration. Just because you don’t have baking soda and vinegar out everyday, talking with others about the impact God has on our lives is a great way to get in the habit of a positive and thankful mindset. Try to make it a weekly or even daily discussion!
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, we come to you today with exploding hearts of love! We are so thankful for the comfort you provide us with and ask that those who are suffering without you are brought to your light and feel relief. We thank you for you descent so that people all over the world may know your perfect love. We ask for your continued guidance as we navigate the world in such an uncertain time. May you open our eyes and hearts and bring peace upon us. We love you and thank you. In your name we pray, Amen.
Meal Idea: Birthday Cake
Need: Boxed cake mix, frosting, sprinkles, and candles.
Let’s make a birthday cake and celebrate the birth of the Christian church! Make the cake per the instructions on the box, bake, and let cool. Then, decorate using the frosting and sprinkles. Have fun with this! You can even put candles in and sing “happy birthday” to the church if you’d like. Then, cut the cake, serve, and enjoy!