Note this is not taking baptism lightly. There is mention of the ‘Fisherfolk’ below, but we are not mocking them. They were early pioneers of worship music.
The scene is set – a youth group is sat there – in walks the good-natured but slightly out of touch and doddery old-ish vicar.. he’s wearing a baseball cap sideways..
Vicar – Hi there funky chickens, I’ve come to get down with you all..
Vicar – OK then youngsters, I’ve come to talk about baptism – and not just the teenage lads who need to shower..
Vicar – OK then, let’s make a start. What is baptism?
Ryan – Isn’t it where we chuck someone in water and laugh at them getting wet?
Vicar – Good point young man but we normally don’t throw people in to get them wet
Ryan – Well why do we throw them in then?
Vicar – We don’t throw people in at all. They volunteer.
Ryan – OK. I volunteer. I like wild swimming.
Vicar – (Nervously). Well, it’s not quite like that. You have to be told it’s the right thing.
Ryan – I have been told it’s the right thing. Chris told me earlier
Vicar – No I mean you have to hear from God. Maybe through one of your ‘groovy’ new Christian worship bands like the Fisherfolk…
Ryan – (Genuinely doesn’t know). Who?
Vicar – (Moves on). And can anyone think of why we should get baptised?
(Silence.. then Ryan puts up his hand).
Ryan – Yes, I can. To clean my clothes! Would I need to bring along Aerial Ultra – cos then I’d be baptised not nearly white, but really white!
Vicar – (Slightly unsure if Ryan is joking). No, I don’t think you’d need to bring soap powder along..
Ryan – (Pause). What about shower gel?
Vicar – Not that either.
Ryan – (interrupts). Deodorant?
Vicar – No.
Ryan – (interrupts). A rubber duck? Arm bands? A wet suit?
Vicar – No, no, no! Think a bit more spiritually young man..
Ryan – OK.. what about a waterproof Bible?
Vicar – Yes, well that would be a start. I remember when I got baptised..
Ryan – You remember that far back? You must have a good memory. Was that before World War One or after?
Vicar – (lost in thought). It was a wonderful day. The church bells were ringing..
Ryan – (interrupts). Were the Germans invading?
Vicar – (carries on oblivious). Ah those were the days. The whole village was there…
Ryan – Why, how much did you pay them? Was there free wine for those that attended?
Vicar – It was a day of commitment. A day I’ll never forget..
Ryan – What was the date?
Vicar – Ooohh, I don’t remember.. oh dear..
What is baptism? Is baptism a day to be remembered? Why? Do we need to be baptised? When should we be baptised? Can children be baptised? (Acts 10 and Acts 16) Can young children make the kinds of decisions that baptism requires? What do you think it means to be ‘baptised in the Spirit’? Do you agree with this? Have you been baptised? What happened next? Do you think you should be baptised? Do you fulfill the conditions?