This time next week we will be getting ready for Esther and William’s christening service and celebration.
We have kept the day very small with only our immediate families, babies’ godparents and our own godparents in attendance.
We have a private function room in our local pub where we will enjoy a traditional roast dinner before walking to the church en mass for the service.
As with our wedding I have been heavily involved in the design f the service wanting the hymns and readings to be nes that everyone would know, understand and enjoy.
I have chosen readings inspired by the Bible but taken from children’s adaptations. The hymns are all favourites from school. And as at the wedding everyone will be given a musical instrument to jingle, tap, bang along. I can’t wait!
The readings are Jesus and the Children, Noah: A Special Promise and Us Two from Winnie the Pooh. Here they are. Do you think they are fitting for the baptism of 17 month old twins?
Jesus and the Children
Everyone in the small town by the lake was excited. Everyone was talking about Jesus, the Messiah. They had heard about the marvelous stories that He told, He taught about God’s Love, and preformed wonderful miracles. Jesus was going to Jerusalem and He was stopping here in their little town. Everyone wanted to see the miracles with their own eyes. They wanted to hear His stories first hand. Everyone wanted just to be in His presence.
When the mothers heard that Jesus was in their town they stopped their cooking. When the fathers heard, they stopped working in their fields or put down their fishing nets. A large group of parents decided to bring their children with them. They wanted Jesus to bless their children.
When they finally reached the place where Jesus was a dreadful thing happened. They could not get near Jesus! Everyone from town was there. Finally the parents and children managed to get close to Jesus, but Jesus’ disciples stopped them. “What are you doing here with all of those children?” asked a disciple. “We came in hopes that Jesus will bless our children,” replied a father. “You must go away now,” insisted the disciple. “Jesus does not have time for children. He is very busy talking with important people.” The parents sadly turned away, and started to leave.
But suddenly a gentle voice could be heard saying “DO NOT TURN THE CHILDREN AWAY.” It was the voice of Jesus. He had heard what the disciple had told the parents. Jesus heard everything even when a big crowd of people were around Him. “Bring the children to Me,” Jesus continued. The crowd moved back to let the children through to Jesus. The parents followed behind. Jesus held out His arms and hugged each one of the little children. He gently touched each one, from the youngest to the oldest child. The children made Jesus smile and laugh. “I wish everyone were like little children, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these,” Jesus said, and then He placed His hands on each child and blessed them.
(This story was inspired from the Bible Story in Matthew 19:13;
Mark 10:13-16; and Luke 18:15-17)
Noah: A Special Promise
God was sad. Very sad. Everywhere he looked, he saw people making bad choices. Hating each other. Hurting each other. Making a mess of his beautiful world.
‘I need to start all over again,’ God decided. ‘I need to make my world clean.’
And that’s when he talked to Noah.
Noah was not like the rest. He was a good man, and God knew it. So God told him to build a boat. A boat big enough to hold:
His three sons,
A pair of every animal in the world
And food enough to feed all of them for a very long time!
Noah’s family was surprised when he told them what he was going to do.
Noah’s neighbours thought it strange of him to build a boat so far from the sea.
And it wasn’t easy chasing, and catching and cleaning up after all those animals.
But Noah was a good man. He did what God told him – even when it was hard.
At last, when they were all tucked safely away in the boat, God shut the door. And then it started to rain.
It rained for forty days.
It rained for forty nights.
It rained harder than Noah had ever seen it rain before.
It rained so hard that the streams, and the rivers, and even the seas burst their banks and began to flood. Soon every sandy beach, every rocky path, every patch of muddy earth had disappeared beneath the water.
And the boat began to float.
It floated above the houses. It floated above the trees. It floated above the hills and then above the mountains too.
It floated for days and weeks and months.
And then it stopped, stuck at the top of a tall mountain.
Noah opened a window to look out. The water was going down, but the world was far from dry.
So he sent out a dove. And when the dove did not come back, Noah knew that it had found a dry place to build a nest.
‘Come out!’ God called finally. ‘Come out of the boat! The world is dry. The world is clean. And now you and your family and all the animals must have children and fill it full of life again!’
‘Hooray!’ Noah celebrated. And he thanked God for saving him.
God was happy too. So he painted the world’s first rainbow in the sky – to celebrate his fresh, clean world. And to promise that he would never send a flood like that again.
(Taken from The Lion Storyteller Bible)
from Now We Are Six
by A.A. Milne (1882-1956)
Wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
Whatever I do, he wants to do,
“Where are you going today?” says Pooh…
“Well, that’s very odd ‘cos I was too.
“Let’s go together,” says Pooh, says he.
“Let’s go together,” says Pooh.
“What’s twice eleven?” I said to Pooh,
“Twice what?” said Pooh to Me.
“I think it ought to be twenty two.”
“Just what I think myself,” said Pooh.
“It wasn’t an easy sum to do,
But that’s what it is,” said Pooh, said he.
“That’s what it is,” said Pooh.
“Let’s look for dragons,” I said to Pooh.
“Yes, let’s,” said Pooh to Me.
We crossed the river and found a few…
“Yes, those are dragons all right,” said Pooh.
“As soon as I saw their beaks I knew.
That’s what they are,” said Pooh, said he.
“That’s what they are,” said Pooh.
“Let’s frighten the dragons,” I said to Pooh.
“That’s right,” said Pooh to Me.
“I’m not afraid,” I said to Pooh,
And I held his paw and I shouted “Shoo!
Silly old dragons!”… and off they flew.
“I wasn’t afraid,” said Pooh, said he,
“I’m never afraid with you.”
So wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
“What would I do?” I said to Pooh,
“If it wasn’t for you,” and Pooh said… “True,
It isn’t much fun for One, but Two
Can stick together,” says Pooh, says he.
“That’s how it is,” says Pooh.
I love the Winnie the Pooh reading and it will be made all the more special as it is being read by David’s Mum, Esther and William’s Granny.
The hymns we have chosen I adore. Who Put the Colours in the Rainbow, God Made Me and One More Step Along the World I Go. The last one is becoming a bit of an anthem for the Edspire house as it was played at my own christening in 2009, our wedding in 2011 and now the twins’ christening too.
I think next Sunday is going to be a very emotional day as we introduce Esther and William to the church, witnessed by our closest friends and family.
I think it will be a wonderful day for our beautiful twosome. A celebration of their journey so far and all that is still to come.