John Baptizes Jesus
Art Workshop - Repentance Necklaces
Summary of Lesson Activities:
The children will wash away one of their “sins” from a piece of shrinky dink plastic, symbolically repenting and being washed through baptism. Then they will draw a picture of something good they can do instead, and make a necklace to remind themselves of it.
Matthew 3:1-17, Mark 1:1-11, Luke 3:1-18 (John’s sermons about repentance), John 1:6-8,15,19-28 (John talks about Jesus), 29-36 (John recognizes Jesus when the Holy Spirit descends on him and makes him known), 3:22-30 (John says that Jesus is greater than him), 3:22,4:1-2 (Jesus’s disciples baptized people)
“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” ~ Acts 2:38
Lesson Objectives of the Rotation: The children will learn that:
- God calls everyone to repent from dishonest, disobedient and sinful lives, and to seek honest, obedient, and helpful lives.
- Being part of a Christian family is not enough. We have to come to God ourselves.
- That Jesus the son of God, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit were all present when Jesus was baptized.
- When we are baptized, we are telling God that we want Jesus to wash us clean from our sins, and that we want to live the way he taught us.
- Laces or string for making necklaces
- Shrinky Dink plastic, a quarter sheet per child, with a hole punched in it for the necklace string. The hole will shrink, so make it 3X as big as you need it. Buy the “frosted” kind that you can write on with pencil crayons.
- Washable markers
- Large bowl of water and a towel
- Fine-tipped permanent markers (for outlining or tracing)
- Pencil crayons
- Pictures/clip-art/greeting cards to trace
- Hole punch
- Parchment paper or heavy brown paper to line cookie sheets
- Cookie sheets
- Laces or string
- Read the story and story background.
- Write memory verse on the blackboard/whiteboard
- Gather supplies in art room
- Put parchment paper on cookie sheets
- Preheat oven to 325F
Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Have them introduce themselves if there are new ones or any you don’t know. Take attendance. Put the bowl of water, a piece of clean plastic, and a washable marker on the table in front of you. Have the following discussion, asking questions to keep the children involved.
- What are some bad things people do? Things that hurt other people? Accept answers.
- What are some bad things that you have done? Or (if you don’t get any answers) that people have done to you? Accept answers.
- How do you feel when people do things that hurt you? (sad)
- How do you feel when you do something that hurts someone else? Accept answers.
- What do you think God would like us to do when we do something hurtful? (confess to God, say sorry to the person we hurt, make it right, be sorry, decide not to do it again)
- When we are sorry for something we have done and we decide we don’t want to do it any more, that’s called repentance.
- But being sorry is not enough. When we do bad things, it is like we are getting all dirty inside. Let’s pretend this piece of plastic is me. When I do something bad, it makes me dirty. (Draw on plastic with washable marker.) When I do something else, it makes me more dirty. Ask the children to name a sin you might do, and then let them add a mark to the plastic. When everyone has had a turn, say, I am so, so sorry for all these terrible things I did. Look at the plastic. But I am so dirty! What else do I need? To be cleaned!
- Our story today is about John the Baptist, who told people to repent and be baptized, which is being put into water and coming out again. This shows that they are sorry for their sins and want God to wash them clean. (Dip plastic in bowl and wash away the marks.)
- Then, once they were cleaned, or forgiven, do you think God wanted people to go back and keep on doing the same bad things all over again? (Get out marker, ready to write on plastic again.) No! John told them to go and do good things instead, like share what they had, and don’t steal or lie.
- He also told them that he was baptizing them to get them ready, because Jesus was coming, and he would take away the sins of the world. He would wash clean everyone who came to him and repented and believed that he came to take away our sins.
Dig- Main Content and Reflection:
Last week you heard the story of how John baptized Jesus. I’m going to read it again quickly to remind us how it went. All four gospels talk about John baptizing Jesus, but I am going to read it from the book of Mark. (Mark 1:1-11) (Read the story, preferably from an easy-to-understand translation such as the CEV.)
Ask questions briefly:
- What did Isaiah the prophet say that God would send a messenger to do? (get the way ready for the Lord. That is, get people ready for the coming of the Saviour, Jesus.)
- What did John tell people to do to get ready for Jesus? (told them to repent and be baptized)
- What did John say about Jesus before he came? (Jesus is more powerful than John, and would baptize people with the Holy Spirit. –to be talked about next week)
- Why did Jesus get baptized if he hadn’t done any sins? (to be an example to us, to show that he was willing to take all the world’s sins on himself and be punished for them)
- What happened when Jesus came up out of the water? (The Holy Spirit came on him like a dove, and a voice from heaven said “You are my dear son, and I am pleased with you.”
What does this story have to do with us today? Do we still have to get ready to meet Jesus? (Yes! And repenting of our sins is how we start.) Our memory verse is something that Peter said. Peter was one of Jesus’ disciples, and we will learn more about him in some of our lessons coming up. Peter taught a lot of people about Jesus, and this is what he told them when they asked what they should do: <memory verse>.
In our church, we baptize people when they are old enough to decide they want to repent and follow Jesus, usually when they are as least 12. You can talk to your parents about being baptized. <Modify this to talk about how baptism is done in your tradition>
Now, we are going to do a craft that will help us remember what it means to repent.
- Hand out a piece of plastic and put washable markers on the table. Turn the plastic to the smooth side.
- Part 1: Repentance:
- Tell the kids to think of something they did that they are sorry for, or know they should be sorry for. (Did they ever do something to someone that made the other person sad?) If they can’t think of anything, can they think of something that someone did to them that made them sad? Draw a picture of it, or write the words, in washable marker.
- When they are done, they should say a prayer to God, telling him that they are sorry for what they did. OR, they should ask God to help them forgive the person that hurt them.
- Then they come to the bowl and “baptize” their piece of plastic to wash away the marker. Dry the plastic.
- Part 2: Doing good:
- The kids now think of something they can do to “fix” what they did, or make the hurt person feel better. Or if it’s too late for that, they can think of what they can do better next time they feel like doing the same thing.
- They draw this on the ROUGH side of the plastic, with coloured pencils, and colour it in. Instead of drawing, they can trace something. And add words if they want. It should be something that will remind them of a good thing they want to do instead of something hurtful. (If they chose to forgive someone, they could think of something they can do to be kind to that person to show s/he is forgiven.) If they want to, they can cut out the plastic into a shape.
- Use the hole punch to put a hole in the plastic so it can go on the string. Remember that the hole will shrink! So make it big. We found that four holes together in a square works well.
- When drawings are done and holes are made, put them on the paper-lined cookie sheets and bake them at 325 (in preheated oven) for 1-3 minutes. Watch carefully. When they are flat, take them out. You can rub them with paper right when they come out if they are curling. You can also put them back if they are still curled and need a bit more time.
- The necklace
- Let each child choose a piece of coloured string. String the pendant on it.
- If there is time, let them add beads as well.
- Tie off the ends of the bead necklaces.
- Close in prayer, thanking God for washing us clean and asking him to help us turn away from the bad things and do the good things.
- Have the children help you clean up.
A lesson written by Sharon Hamilton from: Argyle Road Baptist Church
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.