Tag Archives: Baptism

Children’s Sermon – Baptism of Our Lord

Prepare: Find a few kinds of seals. They can be images, but better would be examples that the children can touch and hold like a sealed jar of jelly, a wax seal on paper, maybe your church’s seal if you have one. Also find an oil stock for baptism, or a little bowl with olive oil on a cotton ball.

 As the children gather ask them what they think of when you say the word “seal.”  You will probably get people talking about aquatic animals, not wax seals, but that’s fine!

Today in the Gospel we hear a story about Jesus getting baptized.  Jesus is in the water, but there were no seals there.  The kind of seal want to talk about isn’t an animal, and really isn’t even in the story about Jesus that we hear today!

(you could gather around your baptismal font if that is possible)

We still baptize people today, sometimes it looks a lot like what happened to Jesus, sometimes we use a bowl of water, called a font, and lots of different things in between.  But there is something that we often say at baptisms that we don’t hear in the story, it is a blessing that sounds like this:

“(name), Child of God, you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit and marked with the Cross of Christ forever.”

Did you hear the word “sealed” in there?  Yeah, really not talking about an animal! That kind of seal keeps things fresh, or secure, or shows who something belongs to.  I have a few examples here – this jar is sealed to keep this jelly fresh until we want to eat it.  A wax seal on an envelope show not only who it came from but also proves that it hasn’t been opened, and a seal like this one shows that this book belongs to this church. (Modify this as needed!)

So when we hear that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit in Baptism, what do you think that means? (give a little space here)

Right!  Good!  And when we seal people in Baptism we often use a little bit of olive oil on their forehead. 

Now you get to decide what to do.  Either have the children seal each other with a tiny amount of oil, repeating the words that you say, or the time to bless them all yourself.  depends on how much time you have!

 Loving and merciful God, we rejoice in the gift of baptism. Thank you for claiming us as your own and sealing us into your care. Amen.

 Child of God, you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit and marked with the Cross of Christ forever.

 Invite your whole congregation to come up and remember their baptism!  You can either just let them dip their hands in the water, or you can offer them oil to seal someone that they came up with.  Or!  Even better – ask some of the children to stay and bless people!

One warning – mess with the amount of oil you use on the cotton BEFORE you try this.  it really only takes a very little bit.  You don’t want oil dripping down faces!

You Are a Saint of God! All Saints Sunday, Nov. 6th, 2016 Year C

 

 

20130822-223520.jpgAsk, “How many of you have grandmas, or grandpas? Do you see them all of the time? (Some will, some won’t.) If you don’t see them very often, (or at all) are you still their grandchild? (Yes!) I have grandmas and grandpas but my grandma (or grandpa or other relative) has died. That means that they no longer live here on earth, they are with God now and I don’t see them anymore but I know that I will someday! We know that God promises that we will all someday be together and with God. God created us to be together. We have families, friends, church community, all kinds of places where we are with people. When we’re together, we can teach each other about Jesus. What would you want to tell these people here about Jesus?” (Have the children turn and face the congregation and say what they think is important about Jesus.)

*Then invite up a parent and a baby, a teen, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety (if you have one present!) something up with the children. Say, “All of these people are part of our community. Even if we don’t see them every day know their name, can they still teach us something about Jesus? Can a baby teach us about Jesus? Yes! A teenager? A grandma or grandpa? YES! Can you teach them about God too? YES!”

* Invite each generation to say one sentence that they want the children to know about Jesus. Say, “We need each other to teach each other about God! This is what All Saints is all about! You are a saint when your words and actions teach someone about Jesus. God says that we are all saints to each other! Pretty neat! To remember this today, during the passing of the peace you can make the sign of the cross on each other and say, “Saint (name if you know it), God’s peace be with you!”

20130822-223749.jpg God of all faithfulness, you created us to be in community with each other. Help us to remember that we need each other: babies, children, teens, young adults, middle age adults and our mature adults. We remember today those saints who are not with us but still live in love in our hearts. Thank you for weaving us together in your love now and forever, amen.

FaithCross_Worship A few ideas to do today:

*Have paper clouds cut out and on a table with pens and markers. Invite people to write names of saints living and dead on their “cloud of witnesses,” people who have passed the faith on them. They can either take them home, or place them on a cross.
*Have bowls of water available as people come for communion, in order to remember their baptism. You can also have a bowl of water with a candle lighting station if you do that. Connect baptism to communion, to our daily lives.
*In addition to commemorating those saints who have completed their baptismal journey from you congregation, celebrate those who were born/baptized this year as well. Light a candle for those past and ring a bell for the new lives!

 

20130822-223908.jpg +You are a saint of Jesus Christ+

God Knows Your Name Luke 10: 1-11, 16-20 Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, July 3rd, 2016 Year C

 

20130822-223454.jpg

As you have the children come forward have a large piece of butcher paper and numerous crayons available on the floor. Invite them to write their name on the butcher paper as you begin. (Just first names are fine for time sake.) Say, “When you meet someone for the first time, what’s usually the first thing you tell someone about yourself? Yes, your name! Our names are very important and they help other people talk to us, call us on the phone, email us, send us a card or even a present! Without our names, life could be very confusing, couldn’t it? Our names help people remember what is special about us and us about them. Do we learn and remember names of people who we don’t see very often? No, it’s hard to know the names of people who we don’t go to school with, live in our neighborhood or have never even met! But we learn the names of people who are important to us and we see a lot in our lives. Knowing someone’s name is a way to say “I care about you!”

20130822-223633.jpg

In our story today, Jesus sends the disciples out to all kinds of different towns and cities where they will meet all kinds of different people. Jesus reminds the disciples and us, that the most important thing to remember as we go along in our life meeting new people, learning new things, and telling people about God is that God knows our name, everything about us and says that we belong to God. When people don’t like you, or don’t want to even meet you, even though that’s hard, it’s ok because God knows you and your name and says “I care about you!” When we baptize babies, children or adults, we say their name because we know that God is  saying that we all belong to God, God knows us and promises to always call us by name to God.

Besides learning people’s names, how can we tell people that God cares for them? (Accept all answers.) There are all sorts of ways to show God’s love! A few ways we do that as a church are….(Fill in with ministries of your congregation). And you are never too little, young or old to help in one of those activities! As you go back to your seat, I want you to draw a heart around someone else’s name (not your own) to show that God cares for them.

20130822-223749.jpg

(Invite the children and the whole congregation to join hands for the prayer. Have everyone hold their hands out with thumbs to the left. Then when you join hands, you are supporting someone’s hand and someone else is supporting you. The true meaning of community!)  Dear Jesus, thank you for caring for us. You know our names and everything about us. Help us to share you love and care with our friends, with our families and with people that we meet. May your peace fill us and the whole earth. Amen.

FaithCross_Worship

Take the sheet of butcher paper with the children’s names on it from children’s sermon and place it on a table with more crayons, markers, etc. Have people write their own name as well as draw a heart around someone else’s name. Invite the congregation to pray for the person whose name they drew a heart around. And to try and meet them if they don’t already know each other!

20130822-223908.jpg +God knows your name and cares for you+

Children’s Sermon – June 19, 2016, Galatians 3:23-29

Prepare:  You will need some arbitrary way to divide people up.  Something simple, like a jar with two different colored beads in it so that you can divide the group into “red” beads and “blue” beads (or whatever colors, items, etc you have). For the worship station you need a baptismal font that everyone can get to, and a sign that says, “Child of you God, you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit and marked with the Cross of Christ forever.”

FaithCross Have you jar of beads (or whatever, but I will use beads in this write-up!) ready for the children as they gather.  Have each child take just one bead.  It doesn’t matter what color.

20130715-114218.jpg Hi!  How is everyone doing today? It is sooooooo good to see all of you and I am so happy that you are here. (Pick one child and start talking mostly to them.) How are you?  Are you having a good weekend? (generally just making small talk – then . . . ) Hey, can I ask you what color bead you got? (It doesn’t matter what color they have, you have to immediately distrust that child!) Whoa! a red bead! Uh . . . could you move over there? Yeah, just not by me. In fact, do any of the rest of you have red beads?  Really? Yeah, I need you to move over there, too.  People with blue beads are fine, but NOT red beads.

Alright, now that we have the sorted let’s take a look the Bible story today.  This story is part of a really long letter that we call Galatians. I just need to review it a little . . . let me see  . . . the law was our discipline . . . justified by faith . . . uh huh . . . uh oh.

So, I was reading this and it says that we are all children of God.  Doesn’t matter what we look like or where we are from. God loves us for who we are and we should do our best to do the same.  

Part of what this means is that it doesn’t matter what labels we put on people – cool, nerd, silly, too serious – God sees us all the same, as beloved children.

I guess that means I can’t really be mean to those people over there just because they happen to have a red bead.  Come back over here and let’s all pray together!

20130822-224425.jpg Loving God, you care for us and love no matter what we look like, where we are from, or what we like or dislike. Thank you for your unconditional love! Teach us to love and care for each other with that same unconditional love. Amen.

 

20130822-223908.jpgYou are a beloved child of God

FaithCross_Worship Invite people to come up to the font to remember that they are God’s child, too! They are welcome to make the sign of the cross on their own forehead, but even better if you can encourage them to make the sign of the cross on each other’s heads!  Invite them to use the baptismal blessing that you put on the sign.

What do you wonder about Jesus? Children’s sermon Easter 2, Year C, April 3rd, 2016

 

20130715-114218.jpg Invite the children forward. Have some bread, a cup/chalice of wine, a bowl of water and some index cards. Ask the children this, “If you could say one thing to Jesus or ask him one question what would it be?” (Accept all answers and even share your own!) Say, “yes, we have lots of questions don’t we? We’ve never really seen Jesus like the disciples did, and we don’t necessarily hear Jesus’ voice (remember that you may have some mystics among you who might hear Jesus!). And sometimes I have lots of questions too and I don’t always know who to talk to about what I’m wondering about Jesus and God. (Repeat some of their questions here.) What do we do with all of those questions? (Accept all answers.) Yes, we could talk to each other! Jesus breathed on the disciples and reminds them and us that we all have the breath of God in us and share that breath everywhere we go!

20130822-223633.jpg Thomas missed Jesus coming and breathing on the disciples and when he came back and heard about it, he had lots of questions. Jesus doesn’t mind our questions-as a matter of fact, Jesus came to Thomas to talk to him about his! Jesus knew that he wouldn’t be able to talk to all people so that’s why Jesus told the disciples and us that we are sent out with the love of Jesus to talk about our questions and wondering together and to look for Jesus everywhere around us. We might not think that we “see” Jesus like Thomas and the other disciples saw him, but Jesus gave us ways to see how much he loves us and is with us always, in our questions, in our wondering and when we feel God’s presence. Jesus said to look for him in bread and wine: which we do every week! When we eat and drink we know that Jesus fills us with what we need to be his hands and feet in the world. In water that is found in our baptismal font, we know that Jesus says we belong to God forever, no matter what. Jesus wants everyone to know that what God really wants is to love us and be with us. Even if we wonder if God is real or what God is doing. I have some blank index cards here. You can take one back to you seat and write or draw your questions for Jesus or what you wonder about Jesus. *During our worship station time, you can place them in the basket on the table and take with you a heart to remind you that Jesus loves you now and always. (If you don’t do worship stations, have index cards in the pews for all people. Invite them to place them in the offering plate.)

FaithCross_Worship Have index cards and pens on a table. Invite people to write their questions for God on them and either place them in a basket. (You could also have a large question mark on a piece of poster board hanging on a wall and people can write their questions on post-it notes to place on the question mark. The question mark could be inside a big heart.) Have heart stickers or paper hearts cut out for people to take as they leave their questions. Perhaps offer a time of wrestling with those questions in adult education, confirmation or some other forum.

20130822-223749.jpgJesus, we love you and we are so glad that you love us! Thank you for hearing our questions, our wondering and our doubts. Be with us as this community grows and learns from those questions. Send us out to listen and talk with other people who also wonder about you and may we share your love and peace with them. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg +Peace be with you+

Celebrate God’s Promises! Luke 3: 15-22 The Baptism of Our Lord

20130822-223520.jpgAs the children come forward have some noise makers (maybe some left over from New Years Eve) to hand out to them. Anything that makes a joyful noise will do! Ask them what these noise makers are used for? Parties! We use them to make our joy and happiness louder so that EVERYONE will hear that we are so happy! It’s hard to be sad when everyone around you is joyful and having a good time so noise makers and happy noises such as saying “Woo Hoo,” “Yippee,” or “Hallelujah” can bring people into joy even if they’re not already feeling it!

20130822-223633.jpg Today we heard the story of Jesus’ baptism. Baptism is when we splash water on someone-of any age-to tell the whole world that they belong to God and God’s family. We often say a prayer and say words of welcome as a whole group to do this in worship. Well, when Jesus was baptized, God spoke loud words that everyone heard, “You are my Son, the beloved; with you I am well pleased.” Now do you think those words were said sadly? (Say the verse again sadly or in a monotone voice.) NO! I think God said those words with joy! (Say the verse now with joy!!) Baptism is a celebration and each day we should CELEBRATE that we belong to God and share that joy with the whole world! God wants everyone to hear that they are loved by God and in the family of God. That is something to celebrate! When we go to school, we celebrate! When adults to go work, we celebrate! When we go to soccer, piano, baseball, ballet, choir, we celebrate that we all belong to God! Let’s practice: (Use the noise makers as you also shout Hallelujah.) We’re at school! Hallelujah! We’re at the grocery store! Hallelujah! Everywhere we go we belong to God! Hallelujah! We all belong to God together! Hallelujah!

20130822-223749.jpg Dear God, thank you for making us one family! We all belong to you and we are joyful! We bring your joy and love everywhere we go so that everyone hears the good news of Jesus. Amen.

*As the children return to their seats have them blow their noise makers and use pine boughs to have the children sprinkle the congregation with water.

FaithCross_WorshipHave simple postcards with a dove printed on one side on a table with writing utensils. Invite people to write a word of gratitude and celebration for someone in their life who share the joy of Christ with them. If they are a baptismal sponsor (god parent) for someone invite them to write a note to their sponsor child of love and joy for who they are as a child of God. Have postage available or a simple way to mail them. Be sure addresses are included!

20130822-223908.jpg+You are beloved by God+

 

Faith + Alive January Remembrance of Baptism

 

20130822-223520.jpg Gather your household. Have a candle (or everyone’s baptismal candles if you have them) and a bowl of water on a table.  Light the candle (or all of them) and say: “Come Holy Spirit.” Open in prayer: Dear Jesus, through your baptism we too are named as God’s beloved children. May our lights shine in the darkness to glorify our Father in heaven. Amen.

20130822-223633.jpg Read Luke 3: 15-17, 21-22. Or Pages 242-245 in the Spark Storybook Bible.

For Children: What do we use water for in our day? (Bath, clean dishes, clothes, drink, cook, etc.) We use water all day long and we also need it for our bodies to be healthy. God uses water and words of love to tell the whole world that we belong to God now and forever. When you were baptized we splashed water on you three times (can you count to three?) and said, “In the name of the Father, in the Son and in the Holy Spirit.” Then we lit a candle just like we did here to remember that Jesus is the light of the world and that we reflect Jesus’ light in the world too. How can you show Jesus’ love at school? At home? At soccer/ballet/piano etc.?

For Adults/youth: Do you know the story of your baptism? Or do you remember your baptism? These stories are more than just a nice memory with family, but mark the day that you parents/sponsors proclaimed that life in and with God and the people of God is important. Not just important but vital-life and death. Water has much power in our world: it can clean, erode, give life, cause death, have beauty and be destructive. God uses water to tell the story of love between God and his people from the beginning. This story is continued with Jesus. Baptism, living water, woman at the well, thirsting on the cross and water flowing from his pierced side. Water is powerful but so is God’s word, God’s story in our lives. This story begins at birth, is proclaimed through water in baptism, is nourished at the table with bread and wine and is shared with us in community.

For All: From whom did you first hear God’s story? Or who was a primary teller of the story in your life? With whom do you tell the story of God’s love? Who would you like to tell about what God is doing in your life? What difference does this story of God’s love make in your daily life?

20130822-223749.jpgGod of living water, we find ourselves rooted in your story of love. We are part of what you are doing in the world to show everyone that they are loved, forgiven and belong to you. We pray for your kingdom to come. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg Dipping your fingers in the bowl of water, make the sign of the cross on one another and say:  +You are God’s beloved child. Go tell the story.+

FaithCross_Worship Remembering God’s story! Have the Luke reading printed off in large print and on a large piece of butcher paper (you will want blank space around the words). Invite people to bring in a copy of their baptism picture to place on the banner with the reading and/or draw an image or a symbol of baptism that is meaningful to them. Other options: invite people to write/draw where they experience God’s story in their lives or a prayer for where they could share God’s story.

At home:  With children: Have copies (not precious originals) of baptismal pictures. Using construction paper or plain paper, make a small story book of your baptismal day.

With adults/youth: Place a picture of your baptism or a symbol of baptism (dove, candle, sea shell) on your bathroom mirror and every morning remember that you are being made new to go and share God’s love.

FaithCross_ServeALT Take an old water bottle, decorate it with symbols of baptism. Place it where people in the household can place their spare change each day. At the end of Epiphany (Feb. 7th) donate the change to the ELCA World Hunger. www.elca.org

 

 

 

Are we there yet? Mark 13: 1-8 Pentecost 25B Nov. 15th, 2015

 

20130822-223454.jpg

Gather the children together: When I was your age, when we went to see grandmas and grandpas or aunts and uncles, we always drove our car. Sometimes the trip was a day, sometimes two days and sometimes even when we planned for a trip to take a day or two it might take three or four because of things happening that we didn’t predict, such as a flat tire, someone not feeling well or bad weather. I’m not the most patient person, so if it seemed that the trip was taking a long time I would ask my parents, “Are we there yet?” I discovered that if I asked that a lot, they would stop answering me.

How many of you have ever been on a car trip? As you drive down the highway there are signs along the road. What do some of those signs say? (Accept all answers.) Yes, some will tell you where the next gas station is, where a restaurant or a hotel might be, or how far to the next town or rest stop. Does every sign you see mean that your trip is over? No. Sometimes we see a sign for the town that we are going to and get really excited only to find out we have a long way to go. Or we go for hours or days without seeing the name of the place we’re going and so we ask: “Are we there yet?” It’s really hard to not know how much time until we get to grandma and grandpas, or a friends house,  or whatever fun place we’re going. It can be hard to wait for fun things like our birthdays and what’s coming soon? Christmas! We don’t like to wait but to know when things will happen.

20130822-223633.jpg

Jesus had been telling his disciples, his friends, all about when he would come to see them again. Jesus wanted them, and us, to know that there will be a time when we are all with God forever… but not yet. We don’t know when Jesus will come back and the disciples were wondering if there would be a “sign,” like a road sign that would let them know exactly how long until Jesus comes back to us. But Jesus says that the signs may not help us to know. Jesus also says that we don’t need to worry about if we’re there yet, we don’t need to be scared about anything because God promises to be with us forever. The important thing for us to remember are the signs of Jesus’ love such as water at baptism and the bread and the wine at communion. What are other signs of Jesus’ love in our lives? (Accept all answers: homes, moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, friends, sharing, hugs, praying, etc.) Jesus wants us to share these signs of love with the whole world! We are a sign, almost like a billboard of Jesus’ love for the whole world to see!

FaithCross_Worship

Have someone with a digital camera take pictures of people. Print them out and place them on a big piece of butcher paper or poster board. Have the title: Signs of God’s Love. You can also have pictures of the different ministries from your community to add to the sign. Or have people write stories or draw pictures  on the butcher paper (poster board)of who shows them signs of God’s love. Place the banner where it is seen as people enter your building or better yet, can be seen by those on the street!

20130822-223749.jpg

Thank you for all of the signs in our lives of your love, especially your son Jesus. Make us signs of your love and hope for the whole world to see. Remind us to not be afraid but to trust your promise to be with us always. Amen.

20130822-223908.jpg +You are a sign of Jesus’ love+

Children’s Sermon – 21st Sunday after Pentecost Year B, Mark 10:35-45

Prepare: You will need to be near a baptismal font with water in it for the children’s sermon.

For the worship station you will need paper, washable markers and a bucket of water (maybe a towel, too!)

20130822-223520.jpgHave the children gather around the font and ask if any of them remember being baptized, or if any of them remember the last time someone was baptized in your church.

20130822-223633.jpgThe Gospel text for today is about a bunch of things, but I caught Jesus talking about baptism again! Baptism comes up a bunch with Jesus, but this time is just a little different. Two of his friends, James and John, ask Jesus for a very high honor – they wanted to sit with him as he ruled over the world. Well, again, this story is about a lot of different things, but Jesus says to them, “Hey, if you can deal with the same Baptism I am going to go through then that will be enough.” We think of baptism as a beautiful ritual with water and words and prayer. Jesus had that, too, but what if Jesus is talking about something else?

When we talk about life with Christ we often say that we are baptized into his death, or we say in baptism we die to sin and are raised to new life in Christ. Jesus could be talking about what is coming up in his life, his own death and resurrection! He could be talking about the Easter story! When we baptize people, one of the things that we talk about is that we die to sin, and are raised up out of the water as new sisters and brothers in Christ. We are made part of the family of God, pretty cool!

In this story, Jesus  is telling us that we need to let the sinful parts of ourselves go, we need to let them die so that we can be reborn in Christ’s love.

20130822-223749.jpgLoving and living God, we come to you seeking love and understanding. We come to you to live out our baptismal promises. We come to you with joy in our hearts at the new life you give us in the cleansing water of Baptism. Amen

20130822-223908.jpg(make a cross on all their heads with water from the font!) You are a clean and new child of God!

 

 

FaithCross_WorshipFor the worship station, set up an area where people can write down something that keeps them from God. It can be a confession, or a doubt, or an illness, or anger, or anything!

Have the bucket (or basin) near by full of water and let them say a brief prayer, then dunk the paper in the water and wash the words away.

You will want to test this BEFORE worship to make sure that your maker/paper combination is going to release the ink into the water.