Baptism of the Lord – January 10, 2021

This coming Sunday, January 10, is Baptism of the Lord. On this Sunday we remember Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River. This was the beginning of his public ministry. As Jesus emerges from the water, the Holy Spirit descends from heaven as a dove, and we hear a voice naming Jesus as God’s beloved Son (ref. Mark 1:4-11). Right before Jesus ascended into heaven, he commissioned his disciples to go make disciples and baptize them, teaching them to obey Jesus’ commandments (ref. Matthew 28:16-20).
 
This special Sunday is also a day to remember our own baptism. In baptism, we are claimed by God as a beloved child. In the Presbyterian tradition, the congregation makes a promise to nurture the faith of those who are baptized. As we prepare for worship this week, I invite you to reflect upon your own baptism. How old were you? Who was there with you? If you were too young to remember, perhaps you could ask a family member about that day. If you have children, take some time this week to tell them about the day they were baptized. Pull out those special pictures and share what that day meant to you. Or perhaps you remember the day someone was baptized here at FPC. Send them a note or email. Consider who has guided you in your faith over the years or at a critical time. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the way they fulfilled their part of the baptismal covenant.
 
If you have not yet been baptized, let me know. I will be glad to help make that happen!
 
In worship, we will have a time of remembrance and reaffirmation of our baptism. If we were worshiping together, I would invite you to the font to touch the water and remember. I would offer to anoint you with the sign of the cross on your forehead. This year, since we will be worshiping at a physical distance, I invite you to have a bowl nearby. It could be a small cereal or salsa bowl, or that crystal bowl gift that you rarely use! Have a pitcher, measuring cup or something else filled with water. You can pour the water into your bowl when I do that act in the service.
 
Even though we are physically distanced, we are bound together by the Holy Spirit, and Jesus promises to be with us always. Remember your baptism and celebrate!
 
Grace and peace,
Pastor Nancy
Rev. Dr. Nancy Jo Dederer
Transitional Pastor
 
 
Prayer for Baptism of the Lord:
Eternal God, at the baptism of Jesus in the river Jordan you proclaimed him your beloved Son, and anointed him with the Holy Spirit. Grant that all who are baptized into his name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; for he lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, on God, now and forever. Amen.