Not everyone will be able to use this kid’s slot, because they won’t agree with it, but for those of us with paedo-baptist convictions might find it useful…
This morning Jessica is going to be baptised. If she was a grown up we’d have a massive bath and she’d go down under the water and come back up again. But because she’s little I’m going to hold her over the water and then pour it over her head. We need to understand what baptism means.
Baptism helps us remember the good news of Christianity. It reminds us what it means to be a Christian, a follower of Jesus.
It’s a symbol that helps us understand something. It doesn’t actually do anything except get her wet. Jessica’s not going to be changed by her baptism. But as she grows up it ought to remind her of three things.
1. Baptism reminds us that we belong to Jesus
When someone becomes a Christian they become someone who loves and follows Jesus. Baptism is like having something that reminds us that we belong to Jesus.
It’s just like deciding to follow a rugby team. In our house we support Harlequins. And we wear things to show that’s the case. [Get a volunteer up to the front to be dressed] We might wear their shirt, wear a cap and wave a flag to show who we belong to.
Baptism reminds us that we’re on Jesus’ team.
2. Baptism reminds us that we’ve changed sides
Baptism shows that we’ve become new people. We used to do what we wanted to do but once we start following Jesus we start to do what he wants us to do. We’re saying that the old me has gone and the new me has come.
If you support Harlequins you don’t support Northampton. We went to watch Northampton against Harlequins with Rufus’ cousins a few months ago. Even though their family supports Northampton we cheered for Harlequins. That was hard for me because Saints used to be my team. It’s where I grew up and I actually played a couple of games for them. [Underneath the Harlequins shirt is a Northampton Saints shirt]
Baptism reminds us that we don’t support the old selfish me any more.
3. Baptism reminds us that we’re part of church
Baptism shows that we’re part of group of people who also love and follow Jesus. When someone becomes a Christian they join God’s church and therefore they’ll want to meet up with others like them.
Because we support Harlequins we try and go and watch them play. When we go, we meet up with thousands of other people. There are a few more of us here. [Someone else in the congregation stands with a shirt on, someone else waves a flag!] See there are others who think the same way that we do!
Baptism reminds us that church is full of people just like us who follow Jesus.
Baptism reminds us that we belong to Jesus, that we’ve changed sides and that we’re part of church. Because Jessica is very little she can’t say she wants these things for herself. But let’s pray that one day she will.