Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. ..”
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

Some thoughts on the Baptism of Our Lord:
I think this Gospel message can be confusing. Why does Jesus have to be baptized? Isn’t he the one, as John says, that should be baptizing John? Jesus submits to this because in many ways this is his coming out party. John, who was born for nothing more than this, presenting Jesus, sees him coming and says ‘this is the one.’ John knows this is what he is alive to do, he knows that now Jesus must take over and bring fulfillment to the scriptures. So today with Jesus’ Baptism and the anointing by the Holy Spirit Jesus really begins his public ministry and the beginning of his teaching both in words and actions.
When I was baptized–at age 28–I had to convince the priest to do it. Not because he didn’t want to receive me into the church but because he wanted to make sure I realized that just as baptism was the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, my baptism was the beginning of my life with Christ and in many ways the beginning of my ministry. He also reminded me when we say we will follow Christ, we say we will live differently than the rest of the world, we will serve the poor, be of peace, love more…he said ‘are you sure you’re ready to do this? This isn’t easy work,’
Of course the Rev. William D. Eddy (who soon became like a second father to me) wasn’t really discouraging me about being baptized . He was telling me to get ready; get ready because once Jesus gets you-he’s got you-and he will demand things of you and make you one of his own forever. And he will require you to not ‘be of this world.’
For us at Christ Church I think we can say ‘he’s got us.’ We’re a simple community of believers just trying to understand what that means and how we can serve him, how we can live out our baptismal promises. We are an entire congregation of people who live faithfully because, as John said, ‘this is the one.’
So this morning, as we sit at home looking at the beautiful snow, let us reflect on our own baptismal promises (which we repeat every time we baptize someone to remind us of our commitment) and let us remember that when Jesus calls us, he calls us. And we have no choice but to follow. AMEN

Categories: Notes & News