Continuing from yesterday, Jesus decides he wants to be baptized. He finds John at the Jordan River, and is baptized. In Matthew's version, John is uncomfortable baptizing Jesus, and wishes instead to be baptized by Jesus. But Jesus reassures him that it is proper and necessary. In all four gospels the Spirit descends on Jesus like a dove, and in three of them it occurs right after his baptism. Often Christians have taught that through baptism you actually gain the presence of the Holy Spirit. However, John himself simply notes that while he baptizes with water, Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit.
I'm not sure I always understand exactly what being baptized with the Holy Spirit means in my life. But I do realize that rituals are not enough, and yet rituals help name what we value. As we focus on belonging this Epiphany seasoning, do you remember in your own life when you started to sense the Spirit of God in your life? Do you know people in your life that you can sense the Spirit of God when you are near them? Have you ever witnessed the Spirit in someone? I wonder what it would have been like to be John watching the Spirit descending like a dove. Did everyone realize what was happening, or was only John prepared enough to describe such a scene? Are we baptized with the Holy Spirit when we pray, serve, or learn? Are we baptized with the Spirit of God when we commit to love and salvation above all else?
Teenagers and adults can read this story in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.
Children can read along in their Story Bible on page 178 in Shine On and 242 in Spark.
Choose a prayer today to recite, remember and live by:
Lords Prayer (198 in Shine On, 278 in Spark)
Psalm 23 (129 in Shine On, 160 in Spark)
Events & Evites:
Tory - Pastor of Children and Youth Faith Formation.