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!)
The 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.
Loving 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
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.