Activity 2 – Exploring water in the Christian Bible

This activity explores the spiritual significance of water in Christianity. Examining selected examples from the Old Testament and the Gospels using drama, pupils  investigate the significance of water in the Bible and the Christian sacrament of Baptism, as initiation into Christian belief.

Key Questions

What is the significance of water in Old Testament (OT) and New Testament (NT) scripture?

How do these stories from scripture help us understand Christian baptism?

How and why was Jesus baptised?

What happens to a Christian believer when they are baptised?

Learning Objectives

  • To make connections between the references to water in the OT and NT and relate them to symbolic use of water in baptism
  • To understand that Jesus was baptised
  • To recognise that Baptism is the initiation into Christian belief
  • To understand why water is used in Christian Baptism

Starter

Explain to pupils that the enquiry is about the significance of water in the Bible and how exploring selected Bible stories helps to explain the sacrament of Baptism.

What stories in the Bible do we already know that feature water?

Do we know what the significance of water could be in these stories?

Gather ideas and refer to the different ways water is used from the last lesson: washing, quenching thirst, irrigating and make the link with spiritual significance of water e.g cleansing, purity,

Main activity

Introduce and explore the significance of water in the following Bible stories through drama using a parachute (See example clip Moses and The Exodus‘):

See also Bible texts -water in Christianity Bible texts - water in Christianity

Plenary

How do these stories begin to help us understand the following questions?:

  • What is Baptism and why is water used to baptize a believer?
  • What inspires Christian believers to get baptized?
  • Why are believers baptized by water and the Holy Spirit?
  • See Bible Texts exploring Baptism of Jesus Matthew 3 v 13 – 18

If you are using a church space for the drama, ask the church representative for a copy of the Baptismal Service booklet to look at statements that are read  during the Service and how they relate to the OT and NT stories and help to  explain the meaning of Baptism. Pastoral introduction to Baptism service

  • Note Baptismal prayers and their content which helps to explain the symbolism of water.
  • See the Church of England website section on Baptism for explanation of the C of E sacrament of Baptism and for video clips interviewing parents and baptismal candidates:

Resources and points to note

N.B Using a church space is helpful for this session. A Parachute can be a useful tool to dramatise ideas for each Bible story. See clip Moses and The Exodus

Bible Texts for exploring water in the Bible resource and  – see Bible Gateway for different versions and translations of the following Bible stories: