January 10, 2021

Baptism of Jesus

  • First reading
    • Genesis 1:1-5
  • Psalm
    • Psalm 29
  • Second reading
    • Acts 19:1-7
  • Gospel
    • Mark 1:4-11

The gospel reading from Mark
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

Ethiopian Mural,
John Baptizing Jesus diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu

Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

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.”

Events happen through the church year. At these times a sermon can be more personal. The bible is rich in history, including that of the life of Jesus. This Sunday such an event is the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. But why was Jesus baptized? One of two answers is that baptism is related to sin and redemption. But why Jesus? Pastor Stevensen tells us in his sermon that the baptism of Jesus relates to the unity of God, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came in the form of a dove, John heard God speaking, and it was the Son who was baptized. The doctrine of the Trinity has been challenged. The concept of the Trinity can challenge us. One example of the three working is in the creation (God), redemption (Son) and sanctification (Holy Spirit), but this diminishes the idea of the three working together. The Holy Sprit was present at the Creation. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have always worked together and always will, to our benefit,

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