First Sunday after the Epiphany 10 January 2021 Baptism of our Lord)

Let us pray: Everlasting God, we give thanks for this new day and as we gather here this morning to focus on the Baptism of our Lord, let us remember our own Baptisms and our calling to be Christians. May we be filled with such joy as we believe in you that our hearts overflow with love for you and for all who we meet along our journey and help us to understand the mystery of the baptism of your Son. May we walk in your way, live our life for you and be mindful of your presence day by day. This we pray in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

If we were to remember our baptism, similar things happened to us as happened to Jesus when he was baptized.  The Spirit of God came into us and remained in us.  We were declared to be a child of God.  We heard that God is well pleased with us. Even though our baptism was not as dramatic as Jesus’ baptism, baptisms today still serves as a time when we are recognized as being children of God. Christian baptism is the baptism that brings the power of the Holy Spirit and a special relationship with God. So why did Jesus get baptized, since he had no sin to repent of? Jesus was identifying with us in His baptism by ultimately identifying with us in our sin. Jesus set the example for us.  From the very beginning, Jesus is validating the essential importance of baptism. Baptism is not man’s idea. It was God’s idea. It is not a denominational thing. It is a Biblical thing. He would go on to take our sin upon Himself on the cross and suffer in our place for our sin.

 So that now, in our baptism, we identify with Jesus with His life and His death and His resurrection. Every person who trusts in Christ in their baptism understand it is a sign for us and allows us to rise to new life in Christ. Like when a new year comes it is like a new arising, and this year we need a new beginning as our baptism gave each of us. Remember we are children of God and he is well pleased with us.

Let us pray: We thank you for John the Baptist preparing the way by repentance and baptism.

We thank you for Jesus Christ proclaimed your Son by water and Spirit.

We thank you for Good News that Salvation has come to the earth.

We thank you for your love undeserved and graciously given.

We thank you for the Holy Spirit transforming and empowering lives.

We thank you for your promise of an eternity in which to praise you.

We thank you.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen

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