|Theme:||Our baptism marks the start of our new life in Jesus. The Baptism of Jesus.|
|Object:||A calendar or a list of New Year's Resolutions|
|Scripture:||As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." Mark 1:10-11 (NIV)|
What an exciting time this is -- the beginning of a new year. Some people make New Year's Resolutions. That means they make promises to themselves about things they hope to do in the new year. Did you make any New Year's Resolutions this year? Maybe some of you resolved to honor and obey your parents. Or perhaps you resolved to keep your room clean, or to make better grades in school. Those are very worthwhile resolutions for boys and girls to make. Don't you agree? Whether you make any resolutions or not, the new year gives you the chance to forget your past mistakes and look forward to doing better in the year ahead. I hope all of you will take advantage of the fresh start the new year offers us.
In our Bible lesson today, we read about a man called John the Baptist. John went all around the countryside in Judea telling people to turn from their sin and to ask God for forgiveness. After they repented of their sin and received God's forgiveness, John baptized them in the river Jordan. They were baptized to show others that God had forgiven their sins and washed them clean. God's forgiveness had given them a fresh start in life.
Jesus himself was baptized by John, and he commanded us to go into the all the world and make disciples, teaching them all that he taught us, and baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Because Jesus commanded it, the church still baptizes people today. When we see someone baptized, it shows the world that their sins have been forgiven and they have been given a fresh start in life through Christ Jesus.
God's forgiveness gives us a fresh start. Let us make the most of it as we live a new life in Christ.
Let us pray:
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