Objective: To remind the children that God is three in one and when Jesus went up to Heaven the Holy Spirit came down.
Game - 7 mins
Aims: to play a game with paper aeroplanes before thinking about things going up and down.
You will need: plain A4 paper, a score sheet (see Printables), felt-tip pens, masking tape and a timer.
Encourage the children to each make a paper aeroplane. Make sure the children have written their names on their plane.
Stick a strip of masking tape to the floor. Explain to the children that they will need to throw their plane as high as they can into the air then see how long it takes for the plane to glide back down to the ground. The plane that takes the longest to reach the ground (i.e the best gliding plane) will be the winning plane.
Allow the children to take it in turns to fly their planes, encouraging each child to stand on the strip of masking tape as they take their turn. Use the score sheet to record the length of time the planes take to land. Praise each of the participants. When everybody has had a turn, announce whose plane took the longest to come down. If you have time allow everybody to have a second go.
Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: ‘3 in 1’ symbol (see Printables), ‘3 Persons’ textboxes (see Printables), The Holy Spirit arrow (see Printales), ‘3 in 1’ symbol with descriptions (see Printables), a whiteboard, one or two big sheet of paper (see below) sticky tac and marker pens.
Before the session write the Bible verse on the whiteboard or paper. Cover the verse with a second sheet of paper. On the paper draw a large circle. Divide the circle into three and stick the textboxes in the relevant sections as shown by the ‘3 in 1' symbol.
Quickly remind the children that God is three in one. Hold up three fingers then one. The three Persons of God are God the Father, God the Son (whom we call Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. Each of the Persons is fully God. The Bible teaches that each of the Persons is real and living. They are good, powerful and wise. They are loving, joyful and peaceful. The three Persons are so perfectly joined they are one. There is one God and he is three in one. Hold up one finger, then three fingers then one again.
Remove the sheet of paper with the circle on it to reveal the verse. Underline the phrase ‘my Spirit’. Explain that we've learnt that this verse was a message from God to Zerubbabel. God’s message was that Zerubbabel would finish the Temple not by his own might nor by his own power but by God’s Spirit. The Spirit God is speaking about is the Holy Spirit, one of the Persons of God. Quickly remove the ‘Holy Spirit’ textbox from the circle and place it above the word ‘Spirit’ in the verse.
Christians believe that today the Holy Spirit lives with people here on earth. They believe that wherever they are and whatever they are doing the Holy Spirit is with them. Explain that, a bit like the wind people cannot see the Holy Spirit, but Christians believe he is with people everyday, everywhere. Show the children the Holy Spirit arrow and explain that the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit came to be with people over 2000 years ago.
Talk about the game. Remind the children that they threw the planes up then watched them come down. Explain that the words ‘up’ and ‘down’ help us to think about what happened when the Holy Spirit came. The Bible tells us that when Jesus went up the Holy Spirit came down - when Jesus went up to Heaven the Holy Spirit came down to earth to be with people in a new way. In the Bible we read about Jesus going back up to Heaven. Christians call this Jesus' ascension. Christians call the day the Holy Spirit came down from Heaven the Day of Pentecost.
Remind the children of the story of Jesus’ ascension and the story of the Day of Pentecost (see pages 383 and 384 of The Children’s Bible in 365 stories). The Day of Pentecost took place ten days after Jesus went up to Heaven, which is why we say… when Jesus went up the Holy Spirit came down. Use sticky tac to stick the ‘Holy Spirit arrow’ next to the verse.
If you have time summarise by showing the ‘3 in 1’ symbol with descriptions. Remind the children that the Bible teaches that God the Father is sitting on a throne in Heaven, God the Son, Jesus, is now sitting at his right-hand side and the Holy Spirit is here on earth living with people.
Song - 2 mins
To the tune ‘Oh when the saints’
It’s not by might
It’s not by power
It’s by My Spirit says the Lord
It’s not by might nor by power
It’s by My Spirit says the Lord.
For simple actions: as you say ‘might’ punch the air with your fist, as you say power flex your arm muscles and as you say ‘My Spirit’ hook your two little fingers together in front of you (this is British Sign Language for finger spelling ‘S’).