Baptism of the Lord At Home Worship
Since we are unable to gather this morning due to the risk of ice, I am offering this abbreviated reflection for a time of worship at home. This is "Baptism of the Lord Sunday." So may the waters of God, refresh your soul.
Find a comfortable spot.
Bring your coffee, tea, or juice and settle in.
Light a candle, or turn on a light to remind you of God's Spirit with you...and pray a 'good morning' to God.
On this day of heavy rain that freezes and keeps us inside, we come to you O God to enjoy your presence in us, and to be refreshed by your Spirit. Stir up in us a sense of belonging to you. Well up in us, and restore us to harmony with you, and with others....Amen
Holy Spirit Rain Down by Alvin Slaughter (Click on the link - you may want to 'skip' the advertisement at the beginning)
Matthew 3:13-17 Good News Translation (GNT) The Baptism of Jesus
13 At that time Jesus arrived from Galilee and came to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to make him change his mind. “I ought to be baptized by you,” John said, “and yet you have come to me!”
15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so for now. For in this way we shall do all that God requires.” So John agreed.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. Then heaven was opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and lighting on him. 17 Then a voice said from heaven, “This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased.”
Before Jesus started his public ministry he met John in the wilderness and asked to be baptized. And after his resurrection Jesus will tell his disciples, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). Baptism is one of two sacraments of the Protestant church. (The other sacrament is Holy Communion.)
Jesus' baptism prepares him for the ministry he's been called to do. Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist is John living out the ministry he's been called to do. When John resists baptizing Jesus, Jesus replies by saying that baptism is part of doing all that God requires. The NRSV translation puts verse 15 this way: “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” It isn't all that God requires. It's part of it. It calls each of us to be obedient to the fullness of God's mission for us.
What mission has God called you to? Does your 'star word' from last week help you understand that call? How do you 'fulfill righteousness' where you are? Baptism enters us into covenant with God to be part of God's work of redemption.
So remember your baptism. Remember that you have been baptized. Or if you haven't been baptized, consider whether it's time for the sacramental joining of Christ's family. Consider the words from our United Methodist service of Baptism:
Through baptism you are incorporated by the Holy Spirit into God’s new creation and made to share in Christ’s royal priesthood.
We are all one in Christ Jesus.
With joy and thanksgiving, you are welcomed as members of the family of Christ
May the God of all grace, who has called us to eternal glory in Christ,
establish you and strengthen you by the power of the Holy Spirit,
that you may live in grace and peace.
Prayer and offering - in your own words
"And Are We Yet Alive" by Charles Wesley (click on the link)
Go into your day in the love of Christ.
Live into your mission and fulfill all righteousness by the power of the Spirit that lives in you.
See you next Sunday!
- Pastor Kathleen
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