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.
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?
God 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.
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.
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