Baptism in Christ
From Rev'd Wilma.
I am so sorry that we will not be meeting at St. John's Church for the next few weeks. The Government have given a very strong message for us all to stay at home in order to stop the NHS becoming overwhelmed with Covid 19 patients. It is wise for us all to keep safe and not to take any risks. We look forward to being with you all again in the not too distant future.
The Gospel reading for today is from Mark 1: 4-11. it tells us that through the Holy Spirit Jesus is affirmed at his baptism as God's beloved Son. The wonderful and amazing thing is that if we allow God into our lives, then we too are baptised with the Spirit of God which affirms us as God's adopted daughters and sons.
Today many people are baptised in water but they are hardly aware that they are immersed in the presence of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We need to see that our baptism in water is an outward and visible sign of our immersion in the presence of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each day, we should rejoice that we're in the presence and power of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
In the story of Jesus' baptism, we hear God's voice saying ' You are My Son, the Beloved with you I am well pleased'. God has spoken to people before, especially his prophets but here he speaks for the first time as a Father. His voice expresses tender love and fatherly pride.
God is still the God of power and might whose voice can split lightening but he reveals himself at Christ's baptism in the feathery touch of the Spirit's wings of the dove, in a gentle loving voice. This new tenderness shows the unique relationship which Jesus has with his Father and it reminds us that, because of Jesus, we can now share in that relationship. Like children of Almighty God and we too can call him Father.
There are times when we don't value ourselves. Here God is saying to Jesus 'With you I am well pleased', Jesus is saying that to us too.
We are all children of God and our Father loves us but like children we are still learning and we sometimes get things wrong. When this happens we need to say sorry.
The baptismal vows say, God has made you part of his church. May he pour the riches of his grace on you.
May he give you his Holy Spirit, now and always. May he help you to fight against sin and wrongdoing.
May you grow in your faith, together with all God's people. May God give you eternal life.
There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism and by one Spirit we are all baptised into one body.
Perhaps you could sit quietly and recall the words of the baptismal vows and recall your own baptism and mark the sign of the cross on your forehead with your thumb and say quietly, 'I turn to Christ'.
Again quietly, pray silently and fervently for the Holy Spirit to come and fill you and the whole church with God's life. At this very difficult time at the start of the New Year and yet another ‘lockdown', let's not forget God's words to Jesus and to us. We are cherished we too are his precious children.
May you know the power of Jesus in your life, He isn't in 'lockdown' when you are troubled may He bring peace, when you are lost may he bring direction.
He is God with us, our deliverer, our rescuer, our life. May His bountiful blessings surround you always.
Virtual hugs, Rev'd Wilma.
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