The Baptism of Christ is a special moment in the Gospels that is celebrated in the Church calendar on a Sunday in January every year. This year it’s on Sunday 10th January, so we’ve put together our Top Tips to mark this event using a great song for all ages, demonstrating a simple craft and answering some big baptism questions. You can read about Jesus’ baptism in Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11 and Luke 3:21-22.
Here are our Top Tips!
- Sing One Life – the wonderful message of Jesus’ life is wrapped up in this cheerful song that is bursting with truth!
- Try this Peace Dove craft. The Holy Spirit rested on Jesus as a dove, so have a go at these Peace Doves as a reminder of this beautiful moment!
- Ask and Answer Questions. Baptism is a big topic, and it’s even bigger when you focus on Jesus’ own baptism! So, we’ve done our best to tackle some big questions and answer them in a way that children will be able to understand.
What is Baptism?
Sometimes we do symbolic things on the outside to show that something has happened on the inside, something difficult to see. When you have passed a test, you might receive a certificate in assembly. You have already passed the test the moment it’s been marked by the teacher, but no one would know this from looking at you! Receiving the certificate in assembly shows everyone around you that something special has happened, something worth celebrating. Baptism is a bit like this. The moment you decide to believe in Jesus and choose to live His way, you are washed clean from sin on the inside and invited into a new way of living. Being baptized is a bit like getting that certificate in assembly – it shows the people around you that you have made an important decision and that something special has happened, something worth celebrating.
Why was Jesus Baptized?
Unlike you and me, Jesus didn’t need to be washed on the inside as He had never done anything wrong. He had always lived God’s way because He is a part of God. Even John, who baptized Jesus, was shocked that He was there. John was an important part of this story. He was talked about in the Old Testament, years before he was born, as the one who would come before the Messiah and prepare the way for Him. Jesus choosing to be baptized by John showed the world that this John was the one who had been prophesied about, and that Jesus was the Messiah.
Jesus’ baptism was a kind of ‘start’ line that marked the beginning of His public ministry. From that moment on, He wasn’t just a carpenter from Nazareth, He began teaching about God, healing people and travelling from town to town.
What’s with the Dove?
Jesus’ baptism was a way of showing us that He was human, just like us. He wasn’t some sort of hybrid-mega-angel, he was fully human. He went right under the water just like everyone else was doing on that day - the way some churches still baptize today. And three years later He would die for us, as one of us. What happened just after Jesus came up out of the water shows us that He was also fully God. God the Father and the Holy Spirit took this opportunity to show that Jesus really was a part of God, in relationship with God as part of the Trinity. And three years later He would come up out of death for us, so that we can be in relationship with God too.
The Holy Spirit could have appeared and rested on Jesus as anything – flames of fire, a great big eagle or even a giant lightbulb above Jesus’ head, but a dove was the chosen form. People who have really studied the Bible suggest that the dove represented purity, peace and gentleness and shows us what Jesus would be like (reference Isaiah 61:1, Matt 10:16, Psalm 68:13). It’s a really beautiful moment to imagine and shows us just a glimpse of the loving relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.