Have a set of keys for display each week. You can also create a set of construction paper keys with the word “key” written on each key, or simply use a set of real keys. Each week of this series, a “key” word will be introduced to the children. Use a reminder on the set of keys, so that you won’t forget to have the prop ready each week. The “key” word will depict one characteristic of following Jesus that connects the message to the adult worship series.
Mark 1:9-11, NIRV
9At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee. John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. 10Jesus 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.”
“Key” word of the day: Baptize – to sprinkle, pour on, or cover a person with water. It is a sign that the person belongs to Jesus. (Zonderkidz Bible Dictionary)
I have a set of keys in my hand today. What is a key used for? (Allow children to respond.) Keys are used to unlock or open doors. Keys are used to start a car and make it go. Each week, I will show you one key, and it will tell us a key word that we need to know to follow Jesus.
Jesus told people to follow him. In the coming weeks, we will hear stories about people who did just that. They followed Jesus for their entire life.
Today’s “key” word is baptize. Baptize means to sprinkle, pour on, or cover a person with water. It is a sign that the person belongs to Jesus. (Zonderkidz Bible Dictionary)
Have you ever been baptized or seen someone baptized? During Jesus’ life, people being baptized would be dipped under the water in a river or a stream. The water of baptism shows how God washes away our mistakes and claims us to live a life fresh and new.
When Jesus was a young man, he was baptized in the Jordan River. John the Baptist was a holy man who told people to follow God. John would baptize them. John baptized Jesus. When Jesus came up from the water, there was a voice from God that said, “You are my Son, and I love you. I am very pleased.” A dove came down from heaven. That’s why when you look at many churches’ stained-glass windows, you may see doves in the stained glass.
Today, followers of Jesus practice baptism in several different ways. Some still dip people all the way under the water. Sometimes the minister sprinkles water on the head of a person. This is the way babies and small children are baptized in The United Methodist Church. However baptism is done, we are reminded that God chooses us and is pleased with us. When we see someone being baptized, we remember our own baptism.
To help us all remember, let’s sing a song today. Do you know the song, “Jesus Loves Me”? Let’s sing it together. (Sing the song together and encourage the congregation to sing with you if worshiping in person.) It feels good to sing and tell God how much we love God. We remember how much Jesus loves us too!
Prayer: God, help me to live as your child and to remember how much you love me. Amen.