Now that all the Christmas decorations are put away, we are in a new season of the church year called Epiphany. An epiphany is like a "lightbulb moment" when you suddenly realize something new. When Jesus comes into our world, we all see things in a new way!
The theme of Epiphany is light. Remember in the Christmas story, how the wise men followed the star to where Jesus was born? Like the wise men, we can also follow the light of Jesus.
Activity: Star Words
Draw and cut out a star on a piece of paper. Think of a word or phrase that you want to follow in this new year, such as peace, patience, or love. Hang your star (or stars, if you can't pick just one!) somewhere you will see it frequently, like your bathroom mirror. Throughout the year, let this star word guide you to be more like Jesus!
Today we will learn more about Jesus by reading about his baptism. This is the event that began his ministry. Do you remember when you were baptized?
Story: Read Luke 3:1-22, or in your SPARK Bible on page 242-245.
- What do you think the water felt like? Cold, warm? Refreshing?
- How was Jesus' baptism different from your baptism? How was it the same?
- John calls people to repent, to turn back to God and to change their lives. Why do you think he said that?
- What is your favorite part of this story?
Activity: Remember Your Baptism
Gather a pitcher of water and a bowl. Pour the water into the bowl-- as you do this, you can bless the water "in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit." Dip your finger in the water, make the sign of the cross on each other's foreheads, and say, "You are a beloved child of God." Then invite each person to practice remembering their own baptism: dip your finger in the water, mark the sign of the cross on your own forehead, and say "in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I am a child of God." You can do this everyday to remember who you are and how much God loves you!
Activity: Dove Craft
On a white piece of paper, trace your hand. Cut it out, draw an eye on the thumb, and glue it to a piece of construction paper. Decorate the paper however you want; you may even draw Jesus being baptized! Write the words "The Holy Spirit came down at baptism" on the top. On the bottom, write "I am a child of God!"