Baptism is one of the two sacraments we celebrate in the Lutheran faith (can you guess the other one? It's communion!).
A sacrament has three parts:
1. God makes a promise to us during it
2. God commands us to do it
3. We use something we can see, touch, taste, and smell. This helps us experiences God's promises!
Today we read a story about a Christian named Philip who met a man from Ethiopia. Can you find Ethiopia on a map? This man was different from Philip. He had darker skin, fancier clothes, and worked for a queen! But that didn't stop Philip from teaching him about Jesus and baptizing him. Everyone is welcome to experience God's promises in baptism!
Read the story in Acts 8:26-39 or in SPARK on p. 510, "Philip and the Ethiopian."
- What would you say if someone asked you who Jesus is?
- How do you think Philip felt talking to someone who is so different from him? Have you ever met someone very different from you?
- Why do you think the Ethiopian man wanted to be baptized right away? How did he act once he was baptized?
If you've been baptized, talk about that day and what it was like. Look at pictures and mark the date on the calendar-- so you can celebrate! You can even light your baptismal candle (or any candle will do). Remember that you are part of God's family, you are forgiven, and you are a light in the world. Mark each family member's forehead with the sign of the cross in water, saying "You are a beloved child of God."
If you aren't baptized, talk with your family about what it means and if this is something you want to receive (call the church to set this up!). All are invited to the water!
Baptism Play (Be the Story Curriculum)
Assemble a diverse variety of dolls and action figures. Go through and describe each one: what they look like, what they like to do, etc. Which one is your favorite? Now, using water, you can "baptize" each doll, marking them with the sign of the cross and reminding them that they are a child of God, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Talk about how even though each one is different, all are loved by God and welcomed into God's family.
Baptism Conversation (Be the Story Curriculum)
- Ask your child if they remember seeing a baptism recently. What happened?
- Do churches do baptisms differently? (Yes! Sometimes in a tub, or a river, with adults or babies)
- Can anyone be baptized? (Yes!) Does God say no to anyone? (No!)
- What would the world be like if everyone was as loving as God?