God’s Holy Convocations – part one

Mosaic dove  design for teens

Mosaic dove design 

The feasts of the LORD  were designed  to call His people to “rehearse” something. They were both prophetical and commemorative of His redemptive plan. This coming Sunday will be the 50th day from Resurrection Sunday , known as Pentecost, the Greek word for fifty. Jews today still celebrate this Feast  of Weeks calling it Shavuot,  but instead of celebrating a harvest they commemorate the giving of the Law and often read the book of Ruth.

Passover is celebrated on the 14th day of Nisan . Jews still celebrate their deliverance from Egyptian bondage but Christians pay homage to the Lamb of God and believe this feast was fulfilled when Jesus cried “It is finished” from the cross.  The following seven days were known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread . Jesus said ,”I AM the bread of Life …”(John 6:35)”…the Holy One who would not see corruption…” (Psalm 16:10) This feast is commemorative of the purity of our lives as leaven is a picture of sin.  If we do sin, we are to confess them  and “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)  During  this same time frame there was to be an offering of the first harvested barley to God.  This was the Feast of Firstfruits and it took place on the  day after the Sabbath. (Sunday)  1Corinthians 15:20 gives a clear picture of the prophetic nature of this feast which is the resurrection of Jesus…”But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”  We have come to the last spring feast we will be considering.  The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) took place 50 days after the Feast of Firstfruits and was celebrated by bringing two loaves of bread baked with leaven to be waved before the LORD with other offerings. Historically, we find that God poured out His Spirit fifty days after the resurrection of His Son…”This was that spoken of by the Prophet Joel…”preached Peter in Acts 2. Also nicknamed the “birthday of the church” because it was the beginning of a great harvest of souls, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was accompanied by a sound from heaven as a mighty wind, tongues as of fire  sat on the 120 saints that had gathered, and they all spoke as the Spirit gave them utterance…the multitudes exclaiming…”we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God”. Acts 2:11                         

tongues as of fire detail

For this project ( which I adapted from Dawn’s “By Sun and Candlelight” Blog), you will need ribbon, a full sheet of card stock that is not white,  (Your dove will be white and you want there to be a contrast) a hole punch and hole punch protectors, string and glue. Take your card stock, measure 7 inches and draw a line lengthwise down your paper.  Trim off the strip which will leave you a piece 7 inches  by 11 inches. Now cut your strip in two pieces.  One piece will go glued on the inside of your tube (7 inches) and the other piece will be cut into “tongues” of fire (4 inches)  Each project will require 7 pieces of ribbon, 8-10 inches long.  Color your 4 inch strip yellow and orange and glitter after cutting out 7 “flames”.  Write the verse  before you proceed. (I used a portion from Acts 2:17…”I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh…” but feel free to choose any verse that fits) Cut out your dove and get ready to glue it a little above center of what will be coaxed into a cylinder.

Pentecost doves

First we need to break down the fibers a little in the card stock to make a nice tube.  Take a ruler and place it on the edge of your paper, press firm with one hand and pull up your paper with the other. Do this a couple of times from each end of the paper. You will notice that your paper is starting to curl.  If you have young kids, you will want to do this step for them.  Glue your dove and press in place for a few minutes or leave under a heavy book while you glue a flame on each piece of ribbon.  Take your 7 inch strip and place a line of glue going down the length of each side of the strip… about a 1/4 inch from each edge.  This piece will hold your cylinder in shape so press it to the inside, holding it with your whole hand or a ruler.  You might need a little tape or even a rubber band or two to help you hold it together while it is drying. You might consider stapling the cylinders if you  have a younger class of children  Now glue your ribbons to the inside of the tube, making sure your flames are facing the correct direction.  Punch 4 holes in the top of the cylinder.  In between each of your holes, punch another making 8 holes in all. (Two holes will suffice…I added extra to add a design element which would certainly not be needed if making the mosaic dove.) Add hole protectors (they now come in foil) and  add string through 2 opposite holes on either side of the dove.

For a more challenging design, cut out the dove and cut it into strips as shown in the photo at the bottom of this lesson.  Tape up the space from where you cut out your dove and attach a piece of black card stock to it …apply glue stick to the “space”  and then remove the card stock … now… keeping the  strips in order, apply them carefully to area you have “glued”…leaving a tiny space between them  (middle photo).  After the  glue has dried, cut dove as shown in *sample*…these will then be glued to another piece of black card stock, leaving a space which will give you a mosaic style of dove.  Be careful that you don’t get your strips mixed up.  Add flames and glitter if desired.  This can then be made into a cylinder  after writing the verse with a white or silver gel pen .  This dove can also be adapted to the story of Noah after the flood.  An olive branch will be need to be glued to her mouth.  To see a sample of this check out  my other blog at “kidsbible.wordpress.com.. “A New Beginning” posted on 10/3/2012.

*sample* showing last cuts

Dove ready to cut again

glueing strips

I hope you have time to share  why Jesus told His followers to wait  for the promise of the Spirit in Acts 1:8… for power to be His witnesses and as a “Helper” to remind them of His teachings .(John 14:26)  Here is a quick review of the Spirit  working in Old Testament saints. Exodus 31 tells us how the Spirit filled Bezalel with wisdom, ability, understanding, intelligence, knowledge and craftsmanship in order to make the articles for the tabernacle.  The Spirit was given to Moses and Joshua to lead the Israelites.  Gideon and Othniel were given the Spirit to judge Israel and  Samson was given super strength.   In 1 Samuel 10:6 , the Spirit turned Saul “into another man”… “God gave him another heart”. 1 Chronicles 12:18 relates that the Spirit came upon Amasa to encourage him to choose and support David as king.  1 Chronicles 28:15 we read the Spirit gave the pattern of the temple to David.  The Spirit came upon prophets to give them words to speak to kings.(Daniel, Elijah, Zedekiah, and Azariah to name a few)  The Spirit was promised in Ezekiel 36″…and I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will keep my judgments…” Ezekiel had many great encounters with the Spirit of God…”the hand of the LORD was upon me and carried me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones…”( Eze. 37) and my favorite…”He stretched out the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my hair, and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven, and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem…” Eze.8

Peter’s Vision

Peter's Vision 2

The church was growing in Jerusalem  but there was a new thing God wanted to do.  Since Jews did not associate with non-Jews,  the message  of salvation was not being shared with the Gentiles. This all changed when a God-fearing Roman centurion was visited by an angel and was told to send for Peter in Joppa. While these messengers were on their way, Peter was also having some excitement on the rooftop of where he was staying. A giant sheet was lowered from heaven , full of unclean animals that had never entered his mouth.  A voice told him to kill and eat but Peter answered, “No, Lord!”  This happened three times and then the messengers from Cornelius arrived.  The Holy Spirit told Peter to go with the men who had arrived. He must have been surprised to find out his guests were not Jewish.  He went with them to the home of Cornelius and explained to those gathered that salvation was available to them because of the price that was paid  for their sin by the death and resurrection of the Son of God.  They were encouraged to receive forgiveness of sins by believing this truth and all the Jews there were astonished to discover that the gift of the Holy Spirit was also poured out on the newly-converted household.  When certain Jewish Christians first heard that the Gentiles had also received the Word of God they contended with Peter until he explained to them what had happened, starting with his vision and ending with the gift of the Spirit being poured out on the Romans.If you want your sheet to “pop” you will have to color the sky.  I recommend colored chalk for your “lazy” colorers….if you place 1/2 a piece of chalk on its side, you can apply color in seconds! Color and cut-out animals and glue on sheet and verse. O.T. dietary laws and a list of the unclean animals can be found in Leviticus 11.

Jesus is Baptized

Baptism - part 1

John the Baptist had the distinct ministry of being “the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the LORD”  as spoken of by the prophets Isaiah and Malachi.  For this lesson I stress the importance of obeying the Father’s will . Both John and Jesus are good examples of this.  The word baptize means to immerse or overwhelm.  John was calling the Jews  to repent and get ready for the Kingdom of God.  For a person to be baptized in John’s day was to confess to be as far away from God as a Gentile and that there was a need to “get right” with Him. Jesus had no need of repentance, but He was completely identifying Himself with sinful man.  His Father spoke his approval of His Son with a majestic voice from heaven signifying this was no ordinary baptism.

Baptism - part 2

This project will only be successful with card stock.  Copy paper is too wimpy .  The dove is attached to a craft stick with tacky glue .  I tend to get a little dramatic where the “voice of God” is mentioned and out comes the special glitter!!! I have those  colorful pieces pre-made and glittered before class for the younger kids. Pre-cut slit with x-acto blade.   Illustrated by Aaron Ernst.To keep the dove and craft stick from flopping around, tape strip on back of page as shown in photo.Baptism today is a dramatization or an “acting out” of a Christian’s identification with Jesus in His death and resurrection. Coming up from the water is a picture of rising from the dead.  Romans 6: 1-6 has a good passage on this and explains why the believer should walk in “newness of life”.