The following service was planned by David Rylaarsdam for the profession of faith of his 10-year-old son, Andrew. The service clearly connects profession of faith with baptism and uses the font, pulpit, and table to lead Andrew through his profession of faith.
Song: “Be Still, for the Presence” SNC 11
Call to Worship (from RW 27:42)
As we are called into worship today,
it is sobering to remember
that when God appeared on earth in the person of Jesus,
most of the world did not recognize him,
and therefore did not worship him.
Today we ask for the faith that will open our eyes
to see Jesus for who he is,
that we might worship him in truth.
People of God, behold and see your God!
We open our eyes to see his glory.
We open our ears to hear his wisdom.
We open our hands to offer him gifts.
We open our mouths to sing his praise.
We open our hearts to offer him our love.
He is Lord!
Song: “We Bow Down” CH 154, SNC 42
God’s Greeting (from 2 Corinthians 13:13)
Service of Prayer
Song: “Step by Step” SNC 17, SWM 12, WR 494
Service of the Word
Scripture: Matthew 14:22-33
Meditation: “Since It Is You”
Prayer of Application
Service of Dedication
Song: “In Christ Alone” (see RW 72)
Profession of Faith
[Move to the baptismal font]
Andrew, do you remember the day you were baptized?
Do you know what God promised you in your baptism?
Yes. That I, with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own but belong to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.
Wow! How in the world do you know that? You just said that you don’t remember the day you were baptized. In fact, your mom and dad tell me that you were sleeping when the pastor was pouring water on your head. Where did you learn about God and his baptism promises?
In the Bible.
[Move to the pulpit]
Yes, the Bible. [hold it up] But this is a big book. It’s not always easy to understand. Did someone teach you what God is saying to you here?
Yes: my mom and dad, grandpas and grandmas, teachers, pastors, friends.
Are any of those people here today?
[Invite all relatives, friends, and teachers who have influenced Andrew to rise.]
While these people are standing, I want to show you something. Come and look at this table.
[Move to the table]
How many loaves of bread do you see here?
Yes! Because all these people who teach you and love you belong to Jesus just as you do. Not only them, but everyone in the world who has been baptized belongs to Jesus. First Corinthians 10 says that we are one church. We have one Savior. So we all partake of the one bread.
[Thank those who are standing for being the church for Andrew, for being his brothers and sisters, for teaching him and loving him as Christ loves him. . . . Invite them to be seated.]
Andrew, we are going celebrate the Lord’s Supper this morning. In the Lord’s Supper, we proclaim that Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again. So, in this Supper, God promises us things about the past, about the present, and about the future.
Look at this bread again, Andrew.
What does this bread teach you about the past?
The bread is Jesus’ body. Jesus died for my sins.
What does the bread teach you about the present?
Through this bread, Jesus feeds my faith in the Lord’s Supper.
What does the bread teach you about the future?
Someday I will see Jesus face to face, as the Emmaus disciples did when they ate with him.
Andrew, we praise God for your faith. May the promises God gives you in the Lord’s Supper today sink deeply into your heart.
[Ask congregation to promise their love, encouragement, and prayers as they do at baptisms. . . . We do, God helping us.]
Prayer and laying on of hands
in baptism you claimed us.
By your Spirit you are working in our lives,
empowering us to live a life worthy of our calling.
We thank you for leading Andrew to celebrate
the covenant you made with him in baptism
and which we celebrate in this Supper.
Establish Andrew in your truth,
and guide him by your Spirit,
that, together with all your people,
he may grow in faith, hope, and love,
and be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.
Defend your servant Andrew
so that he may continue to be yours forever. Amen.
Andrew, have you heard that prayer before?
Yes, on Easter Vigil, when my family celebrates my baptism birthday.
You were baptized on the night before Easter, and each year you celebrate your baptism, your day of new birth. Your family sings and does some responsive readings and eats some cake. Andrew, we would like to use part of those responsive readings as we prepare to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
Brothers and sisters of Andrew, in our baptism God gave us the same promises as he gives us in the Lord’s Supper. God promised that Jesus died for our sins, that he will feed our faith, and that someday we will celebrate with Jesus face to face. Please stand so that we may prepare our hearts for the Lord’s Supper.
The Lord’s Supper
Song: “There Is a Redeemer” CH 308, SNC 145, SWM 128, WR 117
Turning from Sin to Christ:
Trusting in God’s grace,
do you turn from the ways of sin
and say no to evil and its power in the world?
Who is your Savior and Lord?
Jesus Christ is our Savior and Lord.
Will you be Christ’s faithful disciples,
obeying his Word and showing his love?
We will, with God’s help.
The Apostles’ Creed
Do you believe in God the Father?
We believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
Song: “Lift Up Your Hearts” PsH 309, SWM 184, SFL 63, WR 120
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Song: “I Will Sing of My Redeemer” CH 309, PsH 479, TH 650, WR 356