Children's Reading (C)
I Told You So!
Opening Question: Have you ever had to wait for a friend to play? For the coming of your birthday? Was it hard or easy? Why?
First Reading: Acts: 1:3-5,8-11
Theophilus, I wrote my first book about everything Jesus did and taught, from the beginning of his ministry until the day he ascended into heaven. Just before Jesus left, he instructed his chosen Apostles with the power of God's Spirit. He definitely showed his followers that he was really alive. They saw him for forty days after he rose from the dead. And he taught them about God's Kingdom.
While Jesus stayed with them, he gave them the following command: "Don't leave Jerusalem. Instead, wait here for the gift that I told you about, the one my Father promised you. Remember, John baptized you with water. But, in a few days, you will be baptized with God's Spirit!"
When they were together with Jesus, his followers kept asking him, "Lord, will you give us God's Kingdom now?"
"You won't know when or where the Kingdom will come. God will do that in his own time," Jesus replied. "But you will receive God's power when the Holy Spirit comes to you. You will tell everyone about me in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, and even to ends of the earth!"
After that, they saw Jesus ascended into heaven. Soon, a cloud blocked their view. As they stared at the sky, two men stood before them in shining clothes. "Hey! Men from Galilee!" they said. "Why do you stand here looking up? You saw Jesus ascend into heaven. You will see him return the same way."
Petra was a good student and a good helper at school. But it was now late May and she was waiting for school to end. All she could think about was the beach, vacation, and time to sleep in. Summer time was going to be great!
Petra's friend, Danielle was in year round school and she was just coming back on track. After six weeks off from school, she was anxious to get back to class.
We wait for things to happen. Like Petra and Danielle, early Christians waited for Jesus to come and judge everyone. The apostles even asked Jesus: "When will you come again?" Jesus said that decision was up to God the Father.
But Jesus did promise to send us a helper: the Holy Spirit. God's Spirit gives us the courage to be ourselves and to tell everyone we believe in God. God's Spirit helps us understanding ourselves and others. God's Spirit gives us the wisdom to make good decisions and to give good advice. The Holy Spirit is the power helps us become better people. And the Holy Spirit is with us.
As we wait for Jesus to come again, let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us to grow. Remember: Jesus promised us the Spirit!
Bridging Question: Has anyone ever said "I told you so!"? What happened?
Gospel: Luke 24:44-53
Jesus told his followers, "The Bible says the Messiah would suffer death and would rise three days later. It also says his followers would go to people from every nation with a message: 'Turn back to God and he will forgive you!' They would first announce the message in Jerusalem. You witnessed everything I told you. Listen! I will send upon you what my Father promised. But you must stay here in the city until God clothes you with the power of the Spirit."
Then Jesus led his followers as far as Bethany. After he raised his hands up, he blessed them. As he blessed them, Jesus left and was carried into heaven. After they worshiped him, the followers of Jesus were very happy. They went back to Jerusalem where they constantly praised God in the Temple.
"I told you it was going to happen!" Jackie exclaimed. Some of her friends were amazed, others were irritated, others wondered how she knew. Her team won just like she said it would. Jackie's team, the team everyone thought would lose the championship, won convincingly.
Jackie explained that her coach helped the team with her knowledge of the game, her strategy, and her motivation. The coach knew how the other team would play and designed a game plan that would beat the other team. And the coach convinced Jackie's team that the game plan would work. It did!
In the same way, Jesus told his followers how it would happen. He would suffer and die. Then, God would raise him from the dead. Because Jesus rose from the dead, people would be free from all the evil and sin that caused death. People would be forgiven of their evil and sin. This was God's game plan for everyone.
"I told you how it was going to happen!" Jesus told his followers. "You have seen it happen," he continued. "Now it is your turn to tell others. With God help you can do it!" God's help was the Spirit.
If I told you could do something really hard, would you believe me? Jesus' followers saw the impossible happen with the resurrection of Jesus. If they can do it, so can you. Remember, Jesus told you that you could.
Closing Question: How can you listen to God, when he tells you "I told you that you could do it?"