Sun, 7 January 2018
(Is.55:1-11; Is.12:1-6; 1Jn.5:1-9; Mk.1:7-11)
“A voice came from the heavens,
‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’”
Brothers and sisters, God “has testified on behalf of His Son.” With His own voice and by “the Spirit, the water, and the blood,” He has borne witness that Jesus is the Christ. And should we not believe and so conquer the world?
To the waters Jesus comes, and by His baptism makes them holy, that we in turn might be made holy by our baptism in them. Upon Him the Spirit descends like a dove, that new life might be breathed into our souls. And for our sake He will be crucified, that in His blood we may be redeemed. All speaks of our salvation! The water, the Spirit, and the blood – and all He is and does – give credence to the declaration from the mouth of the Father that this is His Son, and that we shall find life in Him alone. The Baptist has been sent to prepare the way before Him, proclaiming, “One mightier than I is coming after me.” Let us “listen, that [we] may have life.”
Do your souls not desire the food from heaven? Are you not “thirsty,” are you not hungry for the bread of Truth? Listen to the Lord, “Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare.” For though high are His “ways above your ways” and His “thoughts above your thoughts,” though this food is well beyond your grasp, yet as “from the heavens rain and snow come down” and nourish the earth, so does the Spirit descend upon us, so do the waters of baptism nourish our faith – so does the blood of His sacrifice become our spiritual drink and His body our spiritual food. And so we become “confident and unafraid.” And so by our faith we do conquer the world.
Brothers and sisters, “the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” “is begotten of God,” for he becomes a son even as He is. And what power has the earth over Him who created it? And so what can stand before such faith? And nourished by this faith what can we do but love, as our God who is but love? To believe in Him is to love Him and to love Him means to love others; for faith in God who has always been brings love of those who are with us now, and so hope for heaven which is to come. This is the will of God for our souls this day. This is the life into which He would baptize our race. So, let us “sing praise to God for His glorious achievement” as we cleanse ourselves in the water His Son makes pure.
Written, read and chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.
Music is "Not as This World Gives" by Carie Fortney; used by permission.
O LORD, your beloved Son is in our midst;
let us believe in Him that we might find our way to you.
YHWH, your Word has come down from the heavens and watered the earth; your Son has come to save us. And so we may now draw water from this fountain of salvation – we may be baptized in Him and in His blood. Speak to us this day by the power of the Spirit of the blessing that is ours by faith in your Christ.
O LORD, we may conquer the world and ourselves if we but believe in Jesus. Though you are far above our thoughts and our ways, you are brought near to us by the presence of your beloved Son in our midst this day. Let us listen to Him and His apostles and prophets, that we may no longer live our lives in vain but be confident and unafraid in the joy of our Savior.
O LORD, let us be begotten by you even as your Son. Let your Spirit descend upon us, too, as we rise from the waters of Baptism He has made pure. Make us fertile and fruitful in Jesus, that we might ever partake of His Body and Blood.