14 May 2013

What do you like best about the Pentecost story?

The first time I prepared the Pentecost story was early in my introduction of Godly Play to the very young children in our church. Vandriver and I were not at all sure about knocking down a set of blocks as the opening to the story - the children were still learning our new, reflective storytime mood and we worried that knocking down a tower was going to send the wrong message!

Instead, I prepared a story based heavily on the Young Children and Worship version.

But I came down with the norovirus that year, and didn't do Pentecost at all.

our Pentecost materials
The next year, I found myself with the materials ready for the Young Children and Worship story but discovered that after months of telling Godly Play stories I was no longer really satisfied with the YCW script. It felt like the worst of lectionary readings can feel - less like a pericope (a self-contained unit) and more like a random chunk of text. It seemed to me to lack the shape of a story.

What I did like, though, was ending with Peter's words from Acts 2:39, "This promise is for you and your children," as I drew a little flame on the forehead of each figure, tall and small.

I did the best I could, but I felt quite dissatisfied with the telling. My wondering questions were genuine, as I asked what we might have added or left out from the story (I seem to recall that one child thought my table, representing the table from the upper room, was unnecessary).

Months later, the grandmother of one of our children came to visit and I encouraged the child to show her around the room after our session. I began slowly putting things away while they explored. At one point I overheard the child say, These are the Pentecost materials, (I was pleased since I'd only used the word about 2-3 times all year) and then - joy - the young voice continued, and these are the children.

So many Bible stories don't actually feature children in them. But the Pentecost promise is explicitly for children as well.


  1. i just wrote a post inspired by one of your comments above. That's what I love so much about blogging - the perpetual conversation and learning from one another that goes on.

    1. :) your amazing pace, posting so frequently, is a constant encouragement to me to get another post out ... eventually.


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