This past Sunday the middle school youth celebrated and talked about baptism since it was Baptism of the Lord Sunday. Focusing on God's promise to us was such an awesome way for us to jump into the new year.
The night started out with two games:
Straw Tissue Relay: Each team had to pass a tissue down the line only using straws (breath... holy spirit... get it?)
Alka Seltzer in the Face: We couldn’t have a night about baptism without playing a game that used water. So we played the tried-and-true spray someone in the face with water until the Alka Seltzer melts game.
After we played our games for the night we began to talk about baptism. A baptism scene, in the critically acclaimed movie Nacho Libre, gave us a great way to intro the passage from Acts 19:1-7.
Nacho in the movie saw baptism as the single solution against “Satans Cavemen” but we see in Lukes scripture that baptism isn’t the end of a story but the beginning. And that Baptism is a way that God tells us “You always have been loved, and You always will be loved."
Before we split off into small groups we were able to celebrate this promise of God through questions. "Even if you haven’t been baptized yet. God doesn’t love you differently. or less. or not yet. This same promise is for you. In asking these questions we acknowledge that we are partners in ministry."
Here are the questions that we answered together.
Leaning on the gracious mercy of God,
do you trust that goodness is stronger than evil, that light is stronger than darkness,
that love is stronger than hate,
that life is stronger than death,
and that Christ is strongest of all?
Do you trust in that strength, made known to us in Christ, to provide salvation, for you and for all of creation?
Will you be gentle and graceful toward others,
and will you be gentle and graceful toward yourself, when mistakes are made and when your faith flounders?
Will you make room in your heart for questions and doubt, for joy and celebration,
for grief and anguish,
for justice and hope?
Will you let love be your first defense and your last resort?
Will you try your best to remember, with every breath,
in every moment,
that you belong to God?
In small groups we continued to explore how everyday we are invited to share in God’s resurrection. Every day we are invited and called to live a life that is completely overwhelmed by the waters of baptism. A life who’s roots connect ourselves to Christ and the people in the world in a mission to redeem the world.
"Baptism is an incredible thing.
In baptism, we proclaim: You are a child of the covenant.
God's Promises are for you."
*shoutout to MYC 2014 theta for the liturgy and blurb