Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, by John the Baptist.
We read in Mark that John was in the wilderness, miles and miles from the city of Jerusalem, yet many people came out to hear him preach about how they should change their lives and live the way God wanted them to. This was good news to the people, and they stepped forward into the river to wash away the past, and to dedicate themselves to this new life. Jesus was one of the people who came to be baptized, and at that moment the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove, and he heard God’s voice name him his son, the beloved. This was the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, the ministry that led him to preach and teach, feed and heal.
This story tells us why we are baptized today. No matter how old we are, we begin a new life with the special blessing of God calling us his children, and the Holy Spirit descending upon us. Even if we don’t hear God’s voice, or see a dove, all of that is still happening in a sacred way. Baptism is a sacrament of the church. A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace. (From the Book of Common Prayer, page 857). So our Baptism is a special connection with Jesus, because he experienced the very same thing.
Food for thought:
- What happens when someone is baptized?
- Do you remember your own baptism? What do you remember?
- Why was John the Baptist so important?
Children’s activities (coloring and word puzzles) and, if age-appropriate, you might cut out dove shapes for the children to write their names on and wear as nametags, showing that God knows their name and the Holy Spirit is present.