Christ Episcopal Church
January 8, 2017
Theme: The Baptism of Jesus
Bible Reference: Matthew 3:13-17
I. Welcome: Good Morning girls and boys! I am so happy to see you all this morning! Do we have any new friends with us? (Welcome new friends.)
II. Church Practice: (light altar candles)
We light these candles to remind us that Christ is the light of the world, and we are Christ’s light in the world. On our altar table today, we have a green cloth. Who would like to move the arrow on our liturgical calendar? (Allow one child to come up to the calendar to move the arrow forward one week.) The arrow is now pointing to a green square which is the same color as the cloth that we have on our altar. In big church today, the altar frontal is a different color. Did anyone notice what color it was? (Allow answers.) You are right! It is white. We use white at Christmas and Easter. Today we are supposed to have the color green on the big church frontal. The clergy are also supposed to be wearing green stoles. I wonder why then they are wearing white? There are other times too that we dress the altar in white and that the clergy wear white stoles. Today we will celebrate the baptism of some new people into the family of Christ Jesus. White is worn when there is a baptism. It is also worn at weddings and funerals. Today in our Bible story, we will hear about the baptism of Jesus. Before we begin our lesson, let us bow our heads and pray,
III. Opening Prayer: Heavenly Father, we are here to worship and praise you. Open our hearts and minds so that we may hear your words spoken to us through the Bible story today. Give us strength that we may serve you through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives, and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
IV. Introduction: Today we remember the baptism of Jesus. Baptism is a very important part of our faith – It is a symbol that we have been washed clean and have a new life in Jesus. How many of you have seen a baby or a young child or even an adult baptized? The family and the person stands at the baptismal font. When you are baptized, the priest pours water over your head from a shell like this one (show baptismal shell) and says, "I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit". Many times, the person who is baptized wears a special gown like this one here (Show gown). It usually white which represents newness and purity. After a baby or child or adult is baptized, he or she goes to the front of the church and is anointed with special oil in the sign of the cross on the forehead. A candle like this one (show baptismal candle) is given to the newly baptized as a symbol of Christ’s light that lives inside each of us. You know, Jesus was baptized too. Jesus was baptized when he was an adult just before he began his ministry. Today we will read about Jesus’ baptism in our Bible story.
V. Bible Story: (Read aloud from Children’s storybook Bible)
Bible Reference for Teachers:
13Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, but do you come to me?” 15But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
VI. Response: When Jesus asked his cousin John the Baptist to baptize him, John said, “I need to be baptized by you, but do you come to me?” John knew Jesus was the Son of God and was without sin. He felt that Jesus should be baptizing him instead. But Jesus humbly answered John asking him to be baptized to show that he was a member of the same human family as John and that we are all members of God’s family. Our Bible story tells us that as Jesus came up from under the water, the Spirit came down like a dove from the sky and the voice of the God said, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” God the Father tells Jesus his son that he loves Him and he proclaims to all that witness his baptism that Jesus is God’s Son. Through Jesus’ baptism our own baptism is a special sacrament we receive. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we are wiped clean of sin we are also claimed as a child of God. The other wonderful message we receive through Jesus’ baptism is that God loves us just as we are. Jesus was baptized right before he began his ministry in the world and God said to him, “with you I am well pleased.” God is happy with Jesus even before he begins His work in the world. The good news for each of us is that through Jesus, we too are loved from the very beginning!
VII. Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus who came to live among us and who gave his life so that we could have everlasting life with you. Through our own baptisms we have been washed clean of sin and claimed as your children now and forever. Strengthen us daily through the power of the Holy Spirit that we may grow in love and become the persons you created each of us to be. In your holy name, Amen.
Let us now end or lesson by saying the Lord’s Prayer together.
VIII. Response Activity (Crafts, Singing, or another activity will be provided.)