January 22nd worship Service
During the 46 days of Epiphany we focus on how Jesus has
become manifest in the world and in our lives.
For some the moment Jesus became God in human form was at the point of
his baptism. Each of the four Gospels
tells a version of Jesus’ baptism.
In Matthew 3:13 we have Jesus coming to Jordan River to be
baptized by John the Baptist. Initially
John refuses saying he should be baptized by Jesus, but Jesus insists that John
“fulfill all righteousness” and perform
the ceremony. As Jesus rises from the
water the heavens open, the Spirit in the form as dove descends upon him and a
voice from heaven declares, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well
pleased.” The Gospel of Mark starts with
John the Baptist and follows a very similar description as told in
Matthew. The Gospel of Luke tells a similar
story, starting in Chapter 3, along with a genealogy.
In the first chapter of John we meet
John the Baptist who has come to recognize Jesus as the one who baptizes not
with water but the Holy Spirit. There is
no account of Jesus’ baptism in the Gospel of John, but we do have John the Baptist’s
account of seeing the dove of the Spirit descend and remain on Jesus. Jesus then goes out to gather his disciples.
Each of the Gospels acknowledges
the baptism of Jesus and its significance, but nothing resonates like the voice
of God from the Gospel of Luke, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am
This week Pastor Ron embarks on a
new series, recognizing references to Jesus in the books of the Old Testament. Join us for our January 22nd Worship Service.
Painting Baptism of Jesus, by monk Fra Angelico (1438-43) in San Marco monastery, Florence Italy