Baptism of the Lord Sunday

January 13th is “Baptism of the Lord” Sunday at St Andrew’s United on Larch Street.

The word Epiphany comes from the Greek epiphania, which means manifestation or revelation and suggests a shining light.

On this day, the church recalls God’s manifest presence in this and the many other episodes of Jesus’ life. As we reflect on Jesus’ baptism, we might follow Martin Luther’s advice, in his larger catechism, to consider and recall our own baptism as well. Luther did not support repeating baptism but called on us to make repeated use of our baptism. He said, “A truly Christian life is nothing else than a daily baptism once begun and ever to be continued.” Whether we have been baptized or not, remember it or not, we have opportunity today to claim and rejoice in the very real ways in which God comes to light in the church and in our lives. Through baptism, God declares that we are beloved children of God. God is well pleased.

Dave

(Rev) Dave Le Grand

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Gospel Writers Differ on Story of John Baptizing Jesus

Did you know that the Gospel writers differ in how they tell the story of John baptizing Jesus?

Here is a reflection by Bruce Epperly from his blog this week:

Luke’s version of Jesus’ baptism describes the Spirit descending on Jesus in the physical form of a dove and the pronouncement of God’s affirmation of Jesus as Beloved Child. As I ponder these words, it appears that Jesus is both one of the crowd listening to John the Baptism and also set apart in a unique way. Still, this blessing is not the final story or the end of Jesus’ personal and spiritual growth; he must go on retreat in the wilderness to face the temptations of his vocation. Being “beloved” drives Jesus into the ambiguous world of human choice and vocation. Luke’s Jesus is one of us: fully human, seeking a tangible sign of his vocation.

Blog by Bruce Epperly on the website  www.patheos.com

So, as we retell the story of Jesus being baptized, we may wonder as so many theologians do, “Why does Jesus, the “Son of God” need to be baptized?”

Our response might be to remember that for Jesus, very much enfleshed and human, he needed this baptism to send him forth in his ministry. Whether you have been baptized or not, perhaps join us in worship this Sunday as we dedicate ourselves to the mission and ministry that is uniquely embedded into us, like our DNA.

Dave

(Rev) Dave Le Grand

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