The Birthday of The Church
Did you know that today we are having a birthday party? Guess whose birthday....(Roll out the banner that has HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE CHURCH on it. Let them help you put it up if you like).
Today is Pentecost and for us that's the birthday of the church, when the Holy Spirit, the very presence of God came into the church and gave the church life.
God loves us so much that God gives us the Holy Spirit, God's own presence to live inside us. We can't really see the Spirit anymore than we can see the air around us. But we can feel the air, the wind blowing, can't we? We can see it when the tree limbs are moving. So, too, we can feel the Spirit in our lives we are moved to love God and love others, to worship God and serve God.
God gives us so many wonderful gifts and the church is one of them. Tell me, what do you like about the church? On this birthday of the church, what's special to you about it? (Let them answer).
The church is above all - the people of God united and empowered by God to show God's love to world.
On a birthday, you usually give a gift, don't you? Well, on this birthday of the church we do not so much give gifts to the church as we offer back to God the fruit of the gift that he gave the church when it was born. We celebrate what God has given us and offer to God what he has put inside us. The Holy Spirit gives us gifts, abilities, talents, things that we can do to help us do what God wants us to do. God gives us gifts through the Holy Spirit so that we might be strong and be able to show the world the love that God wants everyone to have.
We celebrate the birthday of the church today - the giving of the Spirit to all who believe in Jesus Christ by remembering that it is God who gives us the ability to be the church in the first place. It is God who gives us faith - it is God who gives us strength it is God who makes it possible for us to do what we should be doing.
To celebrate the birthday of the church Lena Phillips has made a birthday cake which we will light now -- and then say a prayer together before blowing out the candles. After we are done the rest of the service, we will eat it.
Let us Pray -- God, we love you and we thank you for giving us so many gifts. Thank you for your Holy Spirit who lives inside us the Spirit that gives us life -- and makes your people one -- We thank you for the church -- and for making us a part of it Amen.