As 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!
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!
*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.
Have 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!