Mark 1:9-15, NIRV
Jesus Is Baptized and Tempted
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee. John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. 10 Jesus was coming up out of the water. Just then he saw heaven being torn open. Jesus saw the Holy Spirit coming down on him like a dove. 11A voice spoke to him from heaven. It said, “You are my Son, and I love you. I am very pleased with you.”
12 At once the Holy Spirit sent Jesus out into the desert. 13 He was in the desert 40 days. There Satan tempted him. The wild animals didn’t harm Jesus. Angels took care of him.
Jesus Preaches the Good News
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee. He preached the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Turn away from your sins and believe the good news!”
- Easter basket
- Plastic egg large enough to hold a glow bracelet
Can you help me sing a song? It is a song that you all have heard before. Let’s sing the song and then after we finish, I would like for the entire congregation to clap for us. The song that I would like for you to help me sing is, “Jesus Loves Me.” (Lead the children in singing “Jesus Loves Me.” Then have the entire congregation applaud the children.)
That sounded great! And the message that the song teaches us is so important to remember. Jesus loves each of us, just as he loves all of us! It feels good when someone recognizes us and cheers for us. We can’t help but smile. It makes my heart feel good. What about you? Did you feel proud of yourself when you heard them clap and applaud for your singing? (Allow children to respond.) It seemed like you were glowing with pride!
In today’s scripture passage, Jesus is glowing as well. Jesus gets that Holy Spirit glow. While being baptized, the heavens burst open, and the Holy Spirit came down upon Jesus in the form of a dove. But, unlike you, Jesus didn’t get to enjoy that feeling, because the Bible says that immediately the Spirit sent Jesus into the desert. The Holy Spirit sent Jesus into the wilderness.
I wonder why, after Jesus felt the warm glow of God’s love through the Holy Spirit, he was sent immediately into the desert. I think that it may be because of what we learn from Jesus in that moment. When we are loved by God and are considered God’s people, we “glow.” But this “glow” also reminds us that we need to be in this world, seeing those difficult situations in the world and wanting to offer help.
The Spirit sent Jesus back to the wilderness so that we can learn, just as Jesus did, that the glow is not for us, but for God. Jesus knew that his time on earth wasn’t over yet. Jesus knew that he needed to show the world his love for God.
Remember how pleased and proud you felt when everyone applauded after you sang? When Jesus was baptized, God was pleased with him. God wanted Jesus to show others in the world how it feels to know that God loves them. Jesus needed to find those who needed God’s help and show them how it feels to be loved by God.
God wants the same for each of us. We need to show others the love that God has for them.
Remember on Wednesday, I brought with me this large Easter basket. So far, there is one egg inside. Does anyone remember what is in that egg from our Ash Wednesday service? (Allow a child who was present to answer.) That’s right, a candle. Candlelight helps us see, and we are reminded that God sees everything we do. So, we should live a life of kindness, helping others who need our help.
Each week during Lent, I will bring with me a plastic Easter egg with something inside to help us remember our Bible lesson throughout the week. Let’s see what is in the egg today. (Create some excitement as you open the plastic egg.)
Today, I have a glow bracelet to remind us of the glow of the Holy Spirit, not only in Jesus’ life but in ours as well. When you place coins in your Lenten coin jar this week, remember how it feels to be loved by Jesus. Perhaps, sing “Jesus Loves Me” with your family while you place coins in the jar.
Let’s sing “Jesus Loves Me” again. We will use this song as our prayer. This time let’s sing it for God, to show how much we love God and God’s son, Jesus. (Lead the entire congregation in singing, then applaud one another at the song’s conclusion before saying “Amen.”)
Sing “Jesus Loves Me.” Amen.