Jesus Christ was baptised by St. John the Baptist. According to the first chapter of John verses 29 through 31: "...John saw Jesus coming to Him and He saith: Behold the lamb of God, behold Him who taketh away the sin of the world...therefore am I come baptising with water." According to St. Thomas Aquinas, Jesus was baptised even though it was not necessary. "In truth, Christ needed not baptism, nor His or any other; but rather baptism needed the power of Christ." Instil the gospel of baptism in children by preparing meaningful crafts.
Teach children the symbol of the Holy Spirit coming upon Jesus during his baptism. Each child will need white craft paper, finger paint and markers. Fill a paper plate with craft paint and dip the child's hand in the paint. Make a handprint on white paper. Allow the paint to dry and decorate the handprint dove with eyes, wings and feet using finger paint and markers.
Make shell wind chimes. St. John the Baptist used a shell of water to baptise Jesus in the Jordan River. Each child will need eight shells, a 6-inch stick and assorted lengths of yarn or fishing line. Using string, tie shells to the stick. Attach a 24-inch length of string to both sides of the top of the stick and hang. Chiming shells are a reminder of the gospel lesson.
Create the symbol of Christ by making a stained glass cross. Just as Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sin, the water of baptism removes the stain of original sin, inherited from Adam and Eve, from our souls. Each child will need a square of waxed paper, crayons, a pencil sharpener and construction paper. Have children sharpen different coloured crayons and put the shavings on waxed paper. Fold the waxed paper in half. Assist children in ironing the waxed paper on a low setting until the shavings are melted. Unfold the paper and let cool. Fold construction paper in half and have the child cut half a cross. Open the paper to reveal a full-sized cross. Glue the "stained glass" waxed paper into the cross window. Display in a sunny window.
St. John the Baptist
Bring the gospel to life by baking bug cookies. St. John the Baptist survived in the desert by eating bugs and honey. Have children shape a bug's body using sugar cookie dough. Use raisins for eyes and pretzels for antennae and legs. Bake and eat with drizzled honey.