The reading for today is Mark 1:4-11
4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” 9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
I love witnessing baptisms during a church service. There is a sense of hope and wonder as parents gaze lovingly at their infant or child. Baptism gives them the promise of God’s salvation, and the faith they need to welcome God’s grace in their life. What a gift!
When Jesus left His home in Nazareth to begin His ministry, He traveled to Bethany to be baptized by John in the Jordan River. Although he was already free from sin, Jesus was bringing the message of salvation to all and giving us an example to follow. Previously, people were baptized to confess their sins and start a new way of life (Christ-like) to relate to God. When Jesus was baptized, we saw all three of the Holy Trinity together, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As Christ followers, we must ask for forgiveness of our sins, that we may fully accept and experience Jesus and the Holy Spirit living within us.
Today we mark the Baptism of Jesus. Visualize His experience as the Trinity was revealed. What sins continue to bind you? Revisit the baptismal waters by releasing those sins and asking for forgiveness. Let the love of Jesus wash over you.
Father, thank you for the gift of Your son Jesus to walk amongst us and teach Your holy ways. May we always remember Your sacrament of Holy Baptism when we need renewal in our lives. Amen.
Ann Byrum Groomes email@example.com
Prayer Concern: Pray for those caught up in their sins, that they may feel the presence of Jesus.