BAPTISM OF OUR LORD + JANUARY 9, 2022

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Almighty God, at his baptism, your anointing with the Holy Spirit revealed Jesus as your beloved Son.

May we, who are born of water and the Spirit rejoice to be called children of God, empowered by Grace to

be pleasing in your sight, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the

Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

A READING FROM THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET ISAIAH 43:1-7

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear,

for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I

will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you

shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of

Israel, your Savior.

I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my

sight, and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do

not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you;

I will say to the north, “Give them up,” and to the south, “Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away

and my daughters from the end of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for

my glory, whom I formed and made.”

WE WILL PRAY PSALM 29 RESPONSIVELY

Ascribe to the LORD, you gods, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due God’s name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders; the LORD is upon the mighty waters.

The voice of the LORD is a powerful voice; the voice of the LORD is a voice of splendor.

The voice of the LORD breaks the cedar trees; the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon;

the LORD makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.

The voice of the LORD bursts forth in lightning flashes.

The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the LORD makes the oak trees writhe and strips the forests bare.

And in the temple of the LORD all are crying, “Glory!”

The LORD sits enthroned above the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forevermore.

O LORD, give strength to your people; give them, O LORD, the blessings of peace.

A READING FROM THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 8:14-17

Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter

and John to them. The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit (for as

yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord

Jesus). Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. LUKE 3:15-17, 21-22

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John,

whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one

who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize

you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to

gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the

heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came

from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

SERMON

Chosen. Called by name. Claimed as beloved child. Proclaimed as pleasing. Some of the deepest, most profound longings of all humans; to belong, to be family, not merely biologically, but by choice, and acknowledged as pleasing, as being found enough, simply by being ones self. This is what we witness as Jesus emerges from the baptismal waters that forever change his serene, obscure existence and initiate his journey of Love to the Cross. His purpose is manifested, his destiny revealed. The promise of a Savior sent to redeem us is propelled from divine design to human experience.

This Jesus comes with “his winnowing fork in his hand,” to do the work of redemption, to separate all within us that is not of God, to free the good and virtuous from all harm, to release us from all that obscures and oppresses us, from anything and anyone who prevents us from reaching the pinnacle of perfection our Creator intends for us, and to restore us to our destiny: becoming the Kingdom of God! And so we rejoice, not only at the vision of Jesus embracing his destiny, but of Jesus gathering us into ours. Amen

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