Let me show you how easy it is to break one of these popsicle sticks.  *SNAP*  Simple, right?

What if we imagined that each one of us was a popsicle stick.  Each one of us is breakable.  When we are on our own, sometimes it’s hard to be strong – to remember right from wrong, to remember to be kind, to remember to do good.  When we are alone, we are easily breakable.  *SNAP*

But what about when we all stick together?  Maybe a bundle of popsicle sticks can represent our church family or your family at home or your class at school.  When I bundle all these sticks together, do you think I can break them?  [I made a big scene trying and struggling to break the bundle.  I gave one of the older children a chance to try, too.]  That bundle of sticks is definitely not going to break!  That tells me that we’re stronger when we’re in a group working together.

Today we are celebrating a baptism.  So I brought this toothpick to represent our new friend Leo.  He’s not big enough to be a popsicle stick yet.  He’s fragile and new and not very strong.  But we’re not going to try to break Leo’s toothpick – we’re going to tuck it safely into this bundle.  We’re going to welcome Leo with open arms and open hearts, committing to keeping him strong within our bundle while he’s still so small.  Welcome, Leo!