Dying to the old, rising to the new
The new year brings with it an opportunity to look forward to the future with optimism. Despite the current restrictions in our country and throughout the world, the prospect of a vaccine brings fresh hope of better times to come.
That idea, of dying to the old and rising to the new, is similar to the Sacrament of Baptism, where babies (or adults) are ‘born’ into a new life with God.
Why not watch this short Gospel video with your child?
There are similarities between Jesus’ birth at Christmas and His baptism, when He was ‘born’ into a new life: a new ministry where He told people the good news.
To mark this new chapter in Jesus’ life, God speaks from Heaven and calls Jesus a new name: ‘son’. God the Father was telling everyone that Jesus was His child! Children can also be given a new name by God – that of son, daughter, child.
Jesus is one of the Trinity of God, and so we are different to Him because we are not God. But we are adopted into His family and called children of God!
(a reflection for children to help them really understand that everyone without exception is welcome in God’s family and able to receive His love)
Have you ever waited in line for something really good – maybe outside a shop to buy a new toy or online to buy tickets to a concert – only to find out it can’t happen?
Perhaps the toy sells out or the computer crashes so you can’t buy the tickets. Remember that feeling for a moment.
God said that Jesus was ‘the Beloved’ which is a way of saying that God loved Jesus very, very much.
Perhaps you feel that God’s love is like the new toys in the shop that will sell out sooner or later. You might think, ‘Well, we can’t ALL be God’s beloved children – God doesn’t have enough love for that!’
Or perhaps you feel that you are like the computer that crashes so you can’t access the tickets online. You might think, ‘I’m not special enough’ or ‘Brenda’s better at Maths than me so God would surely invite her to be His child before me…’
But both of those ideas are wrong: God invites each one of us to be part of His family!
All we need to do is say ‘YES’.
Why not take a moment to discuss with your child how it feels to be given a new name by God and welcomed into His family. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.