Bring some seashells you got from your trip of Cape Cod.
I’m very glad to see you today. Last week, my family and I were able to take a vacation and we went to one of our favorite places: the beach. We love the sand, the ocean, the waves, and everything there is about the beach. Now, usually, we go to the beach in the summer when it is warm. Then we get to wear bathing suits, go swim in the water, and lay on the beach reading good books or building sandcastles. But…this time…the weather was cold and rainy and wet. In fact, one day I was at the beach and it snowed. So it wasn’t my typical beach vacation but I did get to hear the waves and water. And I also got to bring back these. What do you see?
Right. Seashells. And all sorts of different kinds of seashells. What do these look like? Let the kids describe the shells, hold them, and see them.
They’re neat, aren’t they? I like to collect seashells when I see the beach. They’re amazing because of what they are. Shells are a hard, protective outer layer that an animal creates o protect itself in the sea. It’s like body armor, able to keep the animal inside safe. The shells we find are the beach are old, the only thing left from the animal that created it. Shells protect, keeping safe what’s precious and vulnerable inside it. The shell lets the animal inside grow big, strong, healthy, and above all – thrive.
Which is why, I think, we use a seashell in the church when we baptize. I use the shell to get some of the water and then pour it over someone’s head. The water flows, so it’s moving, reminding us that Jesus is “living water” for us – and when we are baptized, when Jesus becomes our friend and protector, Jesus helps us thrive. Our baptism is our connection with God. And since we’re connected to God, God helps us grow big, strong, and healthy – in love. Our baptism helps us grow in love – helping us love all people – by being kind to them, listening to them, helping them, and protecting them – like how the seashell protects what’s inside it. Our baptism, our faith, helps us become like a seashell to all sorts of people – to classmates, playmates, and even strangers – so that we can help them grow big, strong, healthy – and thrive.
That’s why a seashell is a symbol a baptism. And why we, whenever we are at the beach, and we see a shell – we can remember that Jesus loves us, that Jesus has made us his friend, and that Jesus is helping us to protect and take care of everyone.
Thank you for being here and I hope you have a blessed week.
Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on the 4th Sunday of Easter, 4/22/2018.