When Jesus came out of the water following his baptism, the heavens broke open, a white dove flew down and rested on Him. All of a sudden, a voice came down from heaven and people understood when they heard, “You are my Son, whom I dearly love, in you I find happiness.” This passage is one of several that all members of the Trinty are mentioned. These are words of the church that point to this awesome and powerful relationship!
Jesus wanted to be baptized so he could identify with us as being human as he began his ministry. He didn’t begin by riding on a royal horse. He came quietly on the river. Now Jesus would officially begin his ministry on the dusty roads of Israel.
Baptism is about beginnings. For parents, caregivers and sponsors they commit their lives to living a life for Christ. For infants and children, the parents and the congregation participate in this sacrament with renunciation of sin and profession of faith. In the link below, you will find the promises made by the church and the families which includes surrounding them with love and prayer while teaching them ways to lead a Christian life.
Baptismal Covenant in the Book of Worship in the United Methodist Church
Both parents and the church make these promises in baptism. They basically promise “to do all in their power to increase their children’s faith, confirm their hope and perfect them in love incorporated by the Holy Spirit into God’s new creation.”
In baptism, children and adults are sealed by the Holy Spirit and often have a cross marked on their heads with olive oil as belonging to Christ forever in their new beginnings.
Read the story from Luke 3:21-22 and Luke 4:42-44
1. I wonder what part of the story is most important?
2. What surprised you the most about the sermon/story?
3. I wonder what the scripture/story has to do with my life?
4. What is something we don’t want to forget from today’s story?
5. I wonder what Jesus said or thought as he was coming out of the water? 6. I wonder what John the Baptist said when he saw the dove?
Cultivate Faith Talk (Preschool-Early Elementary)?
- I wonder what John was thinking when he saw the dove?
- I wonder how Jesus felt when he came out of the water?
Cultivate Faith Talk (Elementary and Older)
- Do you remember your baptism? If so, what do you remember about that day?
- I wonder what you will think about when you see a baptism in church?
- I wonder how our churches are having new beginnings as we return to worship following the pandemic?
- Jesus prayed to his Father often. How can we pray for new beginnings for our families this summer?
- Some families will have children graduating from high school or college. Some will be preparing to enter Middle School or High School. I wonder how these changes are new beginnings for them this spring, during the summer and into the fall?
- I wonder if Jesus was surprised as he traveled on to new places and new beginnings in his ministry.
- Pastors and their families may be moving to a new church in a different location. I wonder what new beginnings they will encounter along the way? How can we pray for them?
Ideas for Cultivating Faith-On-The-Go This Week-Let’s Notice and Experience (All Ages):
- When you jump in the pool or the ocean and come out of the water, think about Jesus and his baptism.
- When you are in the bath tub with your toys, ask parents about how you were baptized. Did the pastor sprinke water over you, pour water over your head or were you “dunked” or immersed in the water? Sprinkle and pour water over your toys. Water is so relaxing.
- Think about why water is so relaxing. Drink plenty of water each day because your body is 70% water.
- As you play with your toys in the water at the pool or in the ocean or in your bathtub, thank God for the clean water we have to drink, to play in and for bathing.
- As you wash your hands, talk about how Jesus washed our sins away. We are washed by water and are forgiven.
- Pray and thank God for new beginnings! “Thank you God for this new day. Each day is a new beginning and we are thankful. Amen!”
Blessings This Week for Morning and/or Evening: In the quiet of your space at night, even with a candle/nightlight or battery operated candle, place your hand on your children’s shoulder or head as you bless them. This is a beautiful way to connect with your child and connect with God. This is also a very peaceful way to end a rushed and chaotic day.
In the rushed mornings, you may give them a short blessing as they run out the door, but it is still so very powerful.
Look for God…in every new place…His hope and love is with you. Every day is a new beginning.
The Lord goes before you and is always beside you.
Jesus is in your heart through faith…You are being rooted and grounded in love by Him. You are covered in love by us forever.
(Adapted from Ephesians 3:17)
Music-On-The-Go for All Ages:
The Blessing by Kari Jobe & Elevation Worship