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RE:QUEST

A space for resources to help RE teachers and their students explore the Christian faith

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Pentecost

How did the Church begin?

Did you know that the Church has a birthday? A little while after the first Easter, about 50 days in fact, there was a special festival called Pentecost. During this festival, something special happened to Jesus' friends and many others. They were all in one place, when:

"Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire, which spread out and touched each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak." (Acts 2: 2-4)

This was the Holy Spirit. Jesus had promised that God would send a 'Helper' to all people. He said:

“The Helper will come—the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God and who comes from the Father. I will send him to you from the Father, and he will speak about me. And you, too, will speak about me, because you have been with me from the very beginning." (John 15:26-27)

This helper was the Holy Spirit, who made a dramatic appearance at Pentecost! People started telling everybody they met about Jesus, and the Christian Church was born.

You can read about the story here, in Acts chapter 2.

Christians still celebrate Pentecost in churches today. After all, who forgets to celebrate their birthday?!

What is Pentecost?
Pentecost is an important festival in the Christian calendar. It is celebrated 50 days after Easter Sunday. Many Christians call it the Church's birthday - but why? Before He died, Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem and He would send the Holy Spirit to them. This event happened at a special Pentecost, 2000 years ago. Find out more about the story here, or read it for yourself.
During Pentecost - an important Jewish festival - Jesus' followers were together in Jerusalem, praying and worshipping God.
Suddenly, there was a sound like a rushing wind throughout the house. They saw tongues of fire that seemed to rest on their heads. This was God's Holy Spirit.
The disciples were able to speak in languages they had never even heard before.
There were lots of people in Jerusalem from countries across the world. They were amazed when they heard the disciples telling them about God - and in their own language. Others just thought the disciples were drunk!
Peter, one of Jesus' closest friends, told them it was too early for drinking. Instead, God's Spirit was with them, helping them tell people from across the world that Jesus was alive and God's chosen king.
The people asked Peter, 'What should we do?'
Peter told them to turn away from their old lives and believe in Jesus. As a sign of their new life living God's way, they would be baptised and receive God's Holy Spirit for themselves.
According to the Bible, 3000 people listened to Peter that day and were baptised.
The new followers began to meet together, sharing their food and possessions and praising God together. And that's how the Church was born.