Ascension Lutheran Church

Calgary, AB

Baptism of our Lord—First Sunday after Epiphany

Matthew 3:13-17

[13] Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. [14] John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” [15] But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. [16] And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. [17] And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

Jesus came to John at the river Jordan to be baptized. Granted it wasn’t for the same reasons as the masses who were making the trip to the wilderness or even as us who come or are brought to the font today. Unlike those baptisms for repentance or salvation of the individual, Jesus wasn’t baptized for his sake but for ours. Because he was baptized, he made it possible for us to pass through those waters in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit to be made children of God.

And because we are made children of God through our baptism we would do well to recall the words the voice from heaven spoke over Jesus after he came up out of the water that set the stage for his life and ministry, and realize that God spoke the same words over each of us when we were baptized—and continues to speak them over us each and every day (as well as everyone else). It’s this promise that we are intended to live in as baptized children of God.

Just as an experiment what might our lives look like if we reminded ourselves daily of God’s love for us—and God’s love for those around us. To look in the mirror and hear the words “This is my beloved child with whom I am well pleased.” To hear those same words spoken over everyone we meet over the course of the day.