TRANSLATION ACTIVITY: Print Matthew 3:13-17 on a sheet of paper, leaving blank lines beneath each line of text. Make a copy for each child. Ask them to â€œtranslateâ€ the passage into modern English. You may need to help them with the meaning of words such as forbad, suffer, straightway, lo, lighting, etc. This activity should help the children better understand the meaning of this important passage.
SINGING ACTIVITY: Sing â€œBaptismâ€ (Childrenâ€™s Songbook, p. 100). Show a picture of Jesusâ€™ baptism. Ask questions to help the children learn everything they can about baptism from this picture. Sing â€œWhen Jesus Christ Was Baptizedâ€ (Childrenâ€™s Songbook, p. 102) and have them share what took place at the Saviorâ€™s baptism that is not shown in the picture. Also have the children share how their baptism is similar to and different from the Saviorâ€™s. Share your feelings about the significance of your own baptism. Sing â€œWhen I Am Baptizedâ€ and â€œThe Fourth Article of Faithâ€ (Childrenâ€™s Songbook, pp. 103 and 124 respectively).
VISUAL AIDS: â€œThe Baptism of Jesus Christ,â€ Friend, Aug. 1999, contains pictures of Jesusâ€™ baptism that could be used as puppets, flannel board figures, puzzles, etc.
â€œBAPTISMâ€: The word translated as â€œbaptizeâ€ comes from a Greek word that originally meant â€˜to dip in dye.â€™ Bring a small container of water that has been dyed with food coloring or fabric dye. Also bring a small piece of white fabric (or paper). Show the children how the character of the paper is changed when it is dipped/baptized in the colored water. Explain that through baptism, we can become as pure and clean as the water that we are baptized in.
PENNY ACTIVITY: You will need: tarnished pennies (or one per child), a pitcher of water, a glass, a shiny penny, vinegar, a tablespoon and paper towels. Have the children look at their dirty, tarnished pennies and then compare it to the shiny penny. Have them drop their pennies into the vinegar and stir for 10 seconds. Talk about how clean and shiny the penny is now. The shiny penny represents how God wants our lives to be. Baptism makes it possible for our sins to be forgiven and our â€œtarnishâ€ removed. After baptism, we are as clean as a shiny penny.