Today in Sunday School our nursery and pre-K students are learning about John the Baptist. Here is what we’re teaching them and some thoughts you can use to reinforce the lesson at home. It is written in language similar to what we use in class, so you can use words they will recognize and understand.
John’s story is the first thing the Bible teaches us about Jesus’s life as a grown up. But what does the Bible wants us to know about him? For our littlest Mungarians we are focusing on a few key themes:
- John was a preacher. A preacher is someone who teaches people about God. Pastor Andrew is the preacher at Munger Place Church. Some grown ups choose to be preachers because they want to help people learn to love God.
- John lived a simple life. John did not go to a house and sleep in a bed at night – he lived in the wilderness and slept outside. John did not eat foods from a restaurant like pizza and hamburgers – he ate what he found in the wilderness, like locusts and honey. He did not wear t-shirts and shorts – he wore a robe made of camel hair (ouch, scratchy!) with a belt. John wanted to keep his life simple because he believed that God would give him all he needed. John wanted to spend all of his time teaching people about God and how God could do great things in their lives.
- John wanted everyone to tell God they were sorry for all their bad decisions. John would stand in front of the people and say “REPENT!” Repent means to do three things: tell what your bad decision was, say that you are sorry, and then try really hard not to make the same bad decision again. Whenever someone repents, God promises to forgive them. John wanted people to change their lives and to change their hearts so God would forgive them and they could become brand new people on the inside.
- John baptized people. Baptism means dipping someone in water. If you see a kid or a grownup get baptized, it looks like they are taking a bath with their clothes on. Sometimes at our church we baptize babies; when that happens, Pastor Andrew sprinkles water on their heads. After people heard John preach they would come to him and repent and say they wanted to be new people. So John baptized them to show that they were a new person. We call him John the Baptist because he baptized so many people.
- John was getting everyone ready for someone extra special. When John preached, he kept telling everyone that they needed to get ready for someone extra special who was coming very soon. He wanted them to repent and get baptized so they would be ready.
- John baptized Jesus and Jesus’ ministry started. One day Jesus came to John and asked to be baptized. This is the first time the Bible tells us about Jesus when he was a grown up. John knew Jesus was the extra special person he was waiting for. John asked Jesus to baptize him instead. But Jesus said he wanted to be a good example to others and show them that baptism was important. So John and Jesus stepped into the river Jordan. John put his hand on Jesus’ back and laid him down in the water until Jesus’ whole body was covered. Then he pulled him back up again. As soon as Jesus came up, the sky opened and a white dove appeared and landed right on Jesus’ shoulder. Then a voice from heaven said, “This is my son. I love him and I am very happy with him.”
As life would have it, we will be baptizing babies in both services today, immediately following worship. Please consider taking your little ones to church today, even if it’s just for a little bit to show them baptism. What better way to learn?!
Feel free to reach out to us anytime you have questions about our curriculum or need ideas for how you can reinforce lessons at home. Hopefully our weekly lesson round ups will give you a good starting point.