Acts 19. 1-10
19 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when[a] you believed?”
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.
What is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is the name given to the third person of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It’s easy for us to imagine what the Father might look like, God, the Father of Jesus to me as a child was a really large man with kind eyes, white hair and a long white beard. We can also imagine what Jesus looked like, we see images of Him as a baby, then as a man all around us are images of Jesus but the spirit is much more difficult to imagine.
In the Old Testament the word ‘ruach’ is used to describe the spirit of God, literally translated this Hebrew word means wind or breath.
In Genesis chapter 2 verse 7, God breathes life into Adam, it’s that breath that makes Adam a living being. Without God’s breath we are nothing but empty shells.. God’s breath brings us to life.
In Ezekiel we also find this. Chapter 37: verses 9-10 when the dry bones are brought to life by God’s breath, wind is also seen as instrumental in this passage, as it brings the breath.
“Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they might live.”
So, the Holy Spirit is the breath of God bring life to creation.
What is the work of the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is at work, in Genesis at the very beginning of the bible. It hovers over the water, taking part in creation.
In the Baptism of Jesus the Holy Spirit comes down like a dove and settles on Jesus confirming that He is the son of God.
These are just two images that we are presented with, throughout the bible from the very beginning in Genesis to the very end in Revelation, we find the Holy Spirit working in many different ways.
The work of the Holy Spirit is to:
*Proclaim God’s Word – Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and he preached to a crowd of people even though he had never spoken publically before.
*Enabling the impossible – Judges 14: 14-15 Samson was filled with the Holy Spirit to enable him to over throw the oppressors of Israel.
*Enable leadership - 1 Samuel 16: 13 So, Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers and from that day on the spirit of the Lord come upon him in power.
*Interpreter – of the bible it is through the Holy Spirit that we are able to hear what God is saying through his Holy Word.
*Connect us – to the past, the history of God’s people, the present through connecting with each other, and into the future listening to where God wants us to go.
*Empowering – the Holy Spirit empowers people throughout the bible, the Holy Spirit also empowered Mary to carry the Son of God, and Joseph to accept the role as his earthly father. The Holy Spirit empowered the disciples to carry on after Jesus had left them.
The whole of Jesus’ ministry was Spirit filled. Jesus was led by the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, was enabled to preach, teach and was encouraged by the Spirit.
Then Jesus left the same Holy Spirit to his disciples. When Jesus appeared resurrected to the disciples, Jesus commissioned them (John 20: 21) “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you, and with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
And so through the ages the Holy Spirit enables us..
And just as the Holy Spirit was there for the people of God throughout history, so the Holy Spirit is there for us today, enabling us, filling us with strength, and
equipping us to do the will of God and so furthering the kingdom of God.
The Holy Spirit isn’t an easy concept to explain to children. But if we go back to where I began in the beginning.. The Holy Spirit is described like a wind. It gives us a visual picture of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit can be felt like a wind – a gentle breeze or a full blown storm… Gently encouraging us or like at Pentecost (Acts 2 – 2) Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and fill the whole house where they were sitting.
A hairdryer is a handy tool for this session – especially one that can change settings from a cool breeze to a more of a blast.. to show the children that whilst we can see the air that comes out of the hairdryer we can feel it’s effects, just like we can with the Holy Spirit.
A kite would be a great take home craft. They are very easy to make.
Lots of kites to try out.
The wind that we can see lifts the kite and enables it to fly high. Just as the Holy Spirit enables us to reach goals we never thought we could.