The Baptism of our Lord

As we move through the season of Epiphany, we continue to reflect on the meaning of the Incarnation:  Emmanuel, God born for us.  Although the nativity is a beautiful, warm fuzzy story, we need to take care that this doesn’t disguise the real truth of this season.   God is with us, in our believing and our doubting, in our joy and in our pain. God is with us in every aspect of our existence.  Amen.

Today we mark the feast of the Baptism of our Lord, when we remember that from the moment of our baptism we are called to serve.  Today we remember the day Jesus himself stood in the Jordan in front of John the Baptist, and was baptised.  At this moment the Holy Spirit came upon him in the form of a dove, and he was anointed for the ministry that lay ahead of him, the ministry for which he was born.

Throughout Scripture water and spirit are linked together. From those graceful opening words of Genesis that tell us the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, through the story of Noah and the covenant between God and God’s people, to the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea, and then to the anointing of Jesus’ ministry through his own baptism, water and spirit weave the story of God’s life and ours together.  Water and spirit are present at our baptism, and at the baptisms of our children, reminding us that we are all children of God, and called to serve.

The great Protestant reformer Martin Luther was plagued at times by a sense of unworthiness and despair.  To drive back those demons, he kept an inscription over his desk that read, ‘Remember, you have been baptised.’    When the doubts surged in, he would touch his forehead and remind himself, ‘Martin, you have been baptised.’   Take a moment this week, touch your forehead as Martin Luther did and remember that you’re a beloved child of God; baptised, cleansed, claimed, sealed by God’s spirit for new life, and called to minister to God’s people in the world.

In peace, Mother Lynda

Gospel Reading:Luke 3:15-22