This talk uses the story of the Baptism of Jesus as a starting off point.
You will need: Jigsaw pieces (at least enough for one each for members of the congregation), pictures on the screen or printed out and enlarged with only part visible so people have to guess what the picture shows.
When we think about baptism, our first thought might be of water and the new start it brings, washing off the old and bringing something new. For me, though, it’s always been about the words that God says to Jesus when he gets baptised himself in the River Jordan: ‘You are my son, the beloved, with you I am well pleased.” For me an important part of baptism is about becoming part of God’s family, about becoming part of the big picture and the amazing plans He has in store.
So that’s where the jigsaw comes in! You might have been thinking that this is a strange image to bring to a baptism, but bear with me! I don’t know if anyone here is any good at jigsaws? In my family there’s a rule that you have to hide the box when you start a puzzle because it’s even more fun to do if you don’t even know what the picture is until it starts to come together. I’m not sure what you think of that!
Look at the partially obscured pictures. Can you guess what they show from only seeing part of the picture?
God has a big picture- his Kingdom, where there is love and joy and peace and hope. We only see part of it now, but we pray in the Lord’s prayer that His Kingdom will come on Earth and we will eventually see the whole picture. When we are baptised and we become part of God’s family, we become part of God’s plan to bring the big picture of his Kingdom to earth. Only God knows what the full picture looks like but when we are baptised, it’s as if we take up a piece and say to God, ‘I want to be in your family and I want to be part of your big picture!’ As part of God’s family, like the pieces in a jigsaw, we are also never alone. We are doing this together. Like the jigsaw pieces we are joined to many other people, many of whom are very different to us. If you look at the pieces of our jigsaw, hardly any of them are the same, yet they are all an important part of the picture and none of the pieces can make the picture by themselves. By joining in our new family, we get many new brothers and sisters who will support us, love us and help us to find where we fit.
I’d like to ask you to take one of the jigsaw pieces and to think of what it might mean to be part of God’s family and to be part of His big picture for the world. Maybe you would like God to show you how you can share His love and bring hope to others. Perhaps you would like to learn more about God’s love for you. Perhaps you would like to say thank you for those who have been baptised today and have become part of God’s family. taking up their own piece of thepicture. Let’s take a moment know to speak to God about his big picture and our part in it.
Play some music and let people reflect and then use the jigsaw intercessions.