Baptism of the Lord Sunday A

Day: Baptism of the Lord Sunday A

Lectionary Passage: Matthew 3:13-17

Scripture Focus: Matthew 3:13:17

Object: Bleach, dropper/teaspoon, jar, water, and food coloring

Preparation: In a clear jar, add water and 2-3 drops of food coloring.

Hey everyone! Today we are celebrating the Baptism of Jesus. One day, Jesus met up with his cousin, John the Baptist. And at the river Jordan, John baptized Jesus. When Jesus was baptized, the heavens opened up and the Holy Spirit came down like a dove and God said “This is my Son whom I dearly love; I find happiness in him.” Each year we remember and celebrate this event because Baptism is a big part of being friends with Jesus.

In fact, Baptism is a sacrament. That’s a very big and important word, and really it just means “mystery.” You see, we don’t really understand how baptism works, but we know from the Bible that when we are baptized, we are cleansed of sin.

It’s kind of like this water. Right now it’s dark and stained. Kind of like we can be stained by sins. But watch this (add a teaspoon of bleach to the water and stir it around)… Suddenly the water is clear again! It’s totally clean! When we are baptized, God’s Holy Spirit comes down on us, stirs up some grace inside of us, and cleans us of any sin.

I can’t tell you how Baptism works, that’s a mystery only God can explain. But we do know Jesus asked his friends to be baptized. (This is a good opportunity to quickly mention the baptism tradition in your church – infant, believer’s baptism, or all – and invite the children to learn more about their baptism as an infant or being baptized in the church).

Let’s pray together: Thank you God for giving us the holy mystery of baptism so that we can be made clean of sin to follow Jesus’ way. Amen.

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Baptism of the Lord C

Day: Baptism of the Lord

Lectionary Passage: Luke 3:15-22

Scripture Focus: Luke 3:21-22

Object: Calendar

You know January is a really special month. It’s the only month in the whole calendar that starts a new year. See, this calendar proves that January is the beginning of a brand new 365 days. No other month in the calendar is like that. Sure, you’ve got fancy holidays like Valentines in February and Saint Patrick’s Day in March and Thanksgiving in November, but only January begins a new year. It’s special that way. January marks the beginning of something wonderful: A whole new year full of amazing new adventures.

And that reminds me of a story from the Bible. It’s about a new beginning, too. It’s the story of Jesus’ baptism. You see, Jesus was ready to start his ministry on earth. He wanted to start telling people all about God and helping them to love God. But first, he wanted to be baptized. So, he went to see his cousin John who was baptizing people in the Jordan River. John baptized Jesus by pouring water over him from the river. And when he did that something amazing happened: Read Luke 3:21b-22.

This was the start of an amazing adventure for Jesus. Just like January is special because it starts a new year, the Baptism of Jesus is special because it starts his ministry.

Let’s pray: God, thank you for new beginnings, new adventures, and new years. Help us follow Jesus in this New Year and always. Amen.

Baptism of Jesus B

Day: Baptism of Jesus B

Lectionary Passage: Mark 1:4-11

Scripture Focus: 

Object: Two identical objects and a marker

Hello everybody!  Today we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus. It happened long ago when Jesus was just about to start his ministry. He went to John the Baptist and asked to be baptized in the Jordan River. And that’s exactly what John did — he baptized Jesus with water. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, something amazing happened: The Holy Spirit came down like a dove and God’s said he loved Jesus. All of this took place to mark Jesus in a special way as he began his ministry to the world.

That same kind of thing happens to each one of us when we are baptized. God marks us and prepares us for ministry to the world. Baptism marks us as God’s people. Think about it like this: Here are two identical paper cups. You can’t tell one from the other. They are the same. But, if I mark this one (draw a cross on one cup) then you can tell it is different from the other. God does something like that to us when we are baptized. We can’t see the mark with our eyes but hopefully we can feel it on our hearts.

But this mark isn’t just decoration! It’s God’s way of preparing us for ministry. Ministry is when we follow Jesus in changing the world through the power of love. You can do ministry in a whole bunch of different ways (this is an opportunity to provide 2-3 examples of how children can be involved in ministry at your church). When we are baptized, God marks us for ministry to the world!

Let’s pray: Thank you God for the gift of Baptism. As we follow Jesus into the waters of Baptism, may we also follow him in ministry to love you and love others. Amen.

Baptism of Jesus A

Day: Baptism of Jesus

Lectionary Passage: Matthew 3:13-17

Scripture Focus: Matthew 3:16-17

Object: Sharpie marker and an object (make sure the marker will NOT rub off whatever you choose)

Today’s Bible story is about a very special event: the Baptism of Jesus! But he isn’t the only one to get baptized. I bet most of us in this room have been baptized. Some when we were just babies, others when they were teenagers and maybe others when they were a lot older. Some people get baptized with a whole of lot of water like when you go swimming and some just get a little sprinkle on top of their head. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how much water is used, the most important thing is that you were baptized!

You see, when you’re baptized, it’s like having “property of God” stamped on your life. Kind of like how I wrote “property of Danyelle” on this cup. No matter what I do… (rub it with your fingers)…. (lick your thumb and try to wipe it off)… (put it on the floor and try to stomp on it)… (etc.)… that notice isn’t coming off this cup. It’s there for good! Well, in baptism, God stamped “property of God”  on your life and that claim by God can never be erased. No matter what you do, no matter how much trouble you get into, or how much bad stuff you may do, you’ll always belong to God. Because God always keeps promises. And when God claimed you in baptism as God’s very own, God meant forever and ever and ever no matter what.

Let’s pray: God we are so thankful that you have claimed us as yours. Help us to follow Jesus every day. Amen.