“And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’” vs. 11
The season of Epiphany begins with a celebration of Jesus’ baptismal call to ministry. We don’t know why Jesus came from Nazareth to the Jordan to be baptized by John, but we do know that the experience had a deep and lasting impact on his life. The Holy Spirit came upon him and he heard the voice of God claiming him as the Beloved Son and he knew in that moment that God was pleased with him. From that moment on Jesus devoted himself to proclaiming the good news of the kingdom in every way he could…he had a mission and nothing could stop him, not even death by crucifixion. It’s no accident then that baptism came to be seen as the central event of every believer’s life. It’s here that our God-connection is made…the Holy Spirit comes to us and we are claimed as beloved children of God. This happens, not because of our own goodness or virtue, but purely by the providential grace of God. That’s why we baptize babies…it’s the very best way of acknowledging that salvation is a gift and not something that we earn or deserve. It’s important to also recognize that with baptism comes a call to ministry…it’s a beginning and not the end. No matter what our occupation or profession, our baptismal calling is to serve and love in the name of Jesus in every way we can.
Thought for the Day: How do I remember my baptism?