Preparation: Have water at different “stations” around your worship space. Station ideas: a small table top water feature, a pitcher and a small cup for each child, a bucket with water in it with a picture of a well, the baptismal font (be sure that there is water in it-maybe have some evergreen branches available). Leave stations available for Open Space time.
Say: God created water and God works in the world through water in many ways. Let’s go over here and this is our first stop on our water walk. God created rivers, oceans, lakes and waterfalls. Water is powerful isn’t it? What can water do? Do you know? (Water can smooth rocks, create new rivers, make sand, etc.) Water can create and change can’t it? Pretty cool. Ok, let’s keep walking.
Here is our second stop, a bucket and a well. Before people had sinks and bathtubs inside their homes people had to draw water from a deep hole in the ground called a well and sometimes carry the water a long ways home. Who can lift this bucket of water for me? Is it heavy? Would you like to carry it very far? But water is important-what do we use water for in our homes? If we lived on a farm who else would need water? Would only one bucket a day be enough? You would have to walk to the well several times a day! Jesus is at a well in our story today and talks to a woman. This woman is someone who doesn’t have many friends and almost no one speaks to, but Jesus does. He tells her that he is the living water and the water Jesus offers gushes with eternal life. Hmmm. I wonder what that means.
Let’s continue our water walk. Here is a pitcher of water and some cups. We’ve been walking a while, who’s thirsty? (Have a couple of helpers to pour water so that it doesn’t take too long.) Jesus says that those who drink from him will never be thirsty again. Do you get thirsty every day? I do! I don’t think Jesus is talking about our daily need for water. We are made up of mostly water and water keeps our bodies healthy. What do you think Jesus is talking about? (Accept all answers) I think maybe it might have something to do with our last stop on our water walk.
Let’s go to the baptismal font. When we are baptized we are declaring that God has acted first to say that we belong to God, God cares for us and we are part of God’s work in the world. Just like water in a river or from rain, the people of God working together can be powerful to spread God’s love all over the world. We can cover the world with love like an ocean covers a big part of the earth. (Sprinkle the kids with the water from the font.) This is water that is alive with the spirit and love of God, this is water that reminds us that God loves us and the whole world. This is water that we want to share with everyone we meet!
Give the kids evergreen branches and have them dip them in the font and gently sprinkle the congregation and to say, “God’s living water for you!” (I have actually done this and yes, people get a little wet. J You can also have small bowls that you dip into the font to fill with water and have the kids use their fingers to sprinkle. )