Daily Devos: Baptism of Jesus

BIBLE STORY OF THE WEEK: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 NRSV

 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

  21Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.D




Sunday:  Luke 3:15

Dear Jesus, I am thankful that you are with me, even when I am filled with questions.  Help me to bring all of my questions to you.    Amen.

Have you ever questioned something in your heart?  What was that experience like?  What do you remember about John from earlier in our story?  Why do you think he reappears here?

Monday:  Luke 3:16a

Dear God, I thank you for forgiving my sins, again and again and again.  Help me to lead a life worthy of you.  Amen.

John’s baptism was a simple washing away of current sins.  It was something that people repeated again and again over the course of a lifetime.  How does this differ from what you believe about baptism?

Tuesday:  Luke 3:16b

Dear God, send your Holy Spirit into my life.  Be as close to me as my every breath.  Amen.

What do you think it means to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and with fire?  What is the difference between being washed with water and purified with fire?  In what ways do you think the Holy Spirit is active in you?

Wednesday:  Luke 3:17

Dear Jesus, you take away the sin of the world.  Have mercy on me.  Amen.

John’s statement here mirrors farming practices in Bible times.  Why do you think he compares our lives in God to this practice?  What part of you needs to be shucked away?

Thursday:  Luke 3:21a

Dear Jesus, stir up my faith in you, that I may use the gifts you give to help a hurting world. Amen.

Have you ever been to a worship service where multiple people were baptized or confirmed?  What was that experience like?  What would it have been like to be baptized on the same day as Jesus?

Friday:  Luke 3:21b-22a

Dear God, all of your creation is connected, and we are only a part of the whole.  Help us to widen our gaze, that we may see all the ways in which you show up in our lives.  Amen.

When Jesus was baptized, something different happened.  The heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended like a dove.  Why do you think this happened?  Tell about a time when you experienced the heavens opening (like a big storm), or something from the natural world reminded you of God.

Saturday:  Luke 3:22b

Dear Jesus, I thank you for the gift of baptism.  Help me to claim my identity as “beloved,” and do that which is well-pleasing in your sight.  Amen.

When Jesus was baptized, God spoke out loud.  What do you think it means that in baptism, you are a child of God who is beloved, with whom God is well pleased?

Preparing for Advent: Luke 3:1-6

I am sure that by now you are starting to think about preparing for Christmas, right?  In the church, the season that comes before Christmas is called Advent, the time that we prepare and wait for the advent of Jesus, both at Christmas and at the end of time.  This Advent, Family God Time will be making a nativity of three ability levels each week during the season.  Because it is a longer term project, we thought that this week might be a good time to gather supplies and prepare for the season of preparation!

Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)

Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to prepare for your coming at Christmas.  Help our time to be holy time.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  Luke 3:1-6

Read this story in your Bible, or you can find it here:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+3%3A1-6&version=ERV

John the Baptist is Jesus’ cousin.  His job was to prepare the people for Jesus.  What are some things that you as a family are preparing as you look forward to Christmas?  Are you focused on Jesus, or something else?  For more about a holy way to celebrate Advent, check out this youtube video by the Advent Conspiracy:


Activity:  Preparing to Make Nativity Sets

During Family God Time, we will be looking forward to the coming of Jesus by making a nativity set together.  A nativity set is a group of figures that tell us the story of Jesus’ birth.  As a family, look at the pictures below and decide which type of nativity set you want to make together.  Then, gather the supplies that you will need as your activity this week.  Don’t make the set this week: Advent is also about anticipation, so wait until next week for the next set of instructions to begin your work!

Nativity Supplies List (Pick 1 to do with your family)

TP Nativity: (Easy-level of difficulty-anyone can do it!)

TP Nativity.jpg

Coloring Templates:  TP Nativity 1TP Nativity 2

Print the PDF file on regular copy paper, making sure that you have the orientation as “portrait” and the “scale to fit” box unchecked.

Coloring utensils


9 empty toilet paper rolls (we have some at church for you to use)

1 empty paper towel roll

-or- 2 empty wrapping paper rolls

(you could get 2 rolls at the dollar store, unwrap them and store the paper wrapped around another roll)

Crystal Clear Packing Tape

Empty Cardboard Box


Stone Nativity: (Medium-level of difficulty due to coloring)

Stone Nativity.jpg

Coloring Template:  Stone Nativity

Print the PDF file on regular copy paper, making sure that you have the orientation as “portrait” and the “scale to fit” box unchecked.

Coloring Utensils (fine point)


13 river stones (we have some at church for you to use)

Mod Podge Glue

½” width paint brush

Shredded paper

A basket or a bowl (preferably borrowed, like Jesus’ cradle!)


Block Nativity: (Hard-level of difficulty/time)

Block Nativity.jpg

Coloring template:  Block Nativity

Print the PDF file on regular copy paper, making sure that you have the orientation as “landscape” and the “scale to fit” box unchecked.

Coloring utensils


1- 8 ft. 2 x 4 cut into 12- 7 in. sections

(glue 2 together for donkey)

(cut one into 3- 2.25 in. sections for 2 sheep and 1 star)


Wood stain

Mod Podge

1 in. paint brush

A stable

–You will have to begin your work on this set this week.  Make sure that the blocks are cut, sand them and stain them this week.  Don’t underestimate the abilities of your kids in this process; they may be little carpenters in the making!

Song:  O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

This is one of the oldest songs that we have in church.  It reminds us of all the reasons that Jesus needs to come to our world.  You can listen to an acoustic version here:

Sing along on the chorus this week:

Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith this Advent!  I hope that this time was holy time for you.

Closing Prayer: (Can be a repeat after me prayer if you have non-readers in your family)

Thank you, God, for this holy time together to feed our faith as a family.  Bless us as we prepare for Jesus’ coming at Christmas.  Amen.