By Jane L. Fryar
Before you begin, make a poster with a large U-turn symbol on it. (You can find multiple examples and patterns online.)
Thank you for coming today. I’m so glad you are here!
(Hold up the poster you made.) This is a sign your parents might see as they drive. Who knows what it means? (Let volunteers comment.)
Yes, it’s a U-turn sign. What’s a U-turn? (Again, let volunteers comment.)
When we make a U-turn, we go in just the opposite direction. If we’re driving east, we make a U-turn to go west. If we’re driving north, we make a U-turn to go . . . (let the children finish the sentence with “south.”)
The Bible tells about 3,000 people who made a U-turn—3,000 people all at once!
It happened after Jesus had risen from the dead and gone back to heaven. It happened on the day called Pentecost, the day the Holy Spirit came to fill and empower all the believers.
That day, the people of Jerusalem heard a mighty, rushing wind—a sound as loud as a tornado or a hurricane. Except, the wind was not blowing! Everyone rushed to the building where the believers were gathered to see where the sound was coming from.
When Peter and the disciples saw the crowd, they began to tell them about what Jesus had done. Peter said, “Jesus was God’s prophet. He was the Messiah, the promised Savior. But you and your leaders did not believe that. You killed him! But God raised him from the dead in victory!”
The people thought about Peter’s words. The Holy Spirit worked in the people’s hearts so that 3,000 of them believed what Peter was telling them—and they were afraid! “We killed the Savior!” they thought. (I would be afraid, too; wouldn’t you!?)
So they asked, “What can we do?”
Peter answered this way. (Read Acts 2:38–39.) Peter told the people to make a U-turn, to stop going on in their unbelief. He told them to believe in Jesus and trust him for forgiveness. They were going in one direction; now they were to go in another. There’s a word for that: repentance. Say that word with me. (Repeat it several times together.)
You don’t drive a car yet, but do you ever need to make a U-turn? When? (Invite volunteers to give examples.) Yes, when God says one thing, and we do something else instead. When that happens, we need to make a U-turn. We need God’s gift of repentance.
We can say, “Dear Jesus, I’m going in a wrong direction. Please forgive me. Help me turn around. Help me do what pleases you instead.”
Have you ever said something like that? (Invite volunteers to share; if no one does, be ready with an example from your own life.)
Do you know what? Jesus always hears prayers like that! He always forgives when we ask him to, because he died on the cross and rose again to make repentance possible. I’m so glad Jesus loves us so much, aren’t you?!
Let’s pray: Dear Jesus, remind us of your love for us, especially when we are going in the wrong direction. Help us repent, turn around, and trust you to forgive us. Thank you, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from a family devotion packet that accompanies the This Is Love: Acts of the Savior Family Activity Magnet. CTA has written six FREE, reproducible Easter devotions just like this one. You can send them home for families to use in their personal devotions, use them in your Sunday school, or make them part of your Easter outreach event.