Fri. March 29

Friday March 29, 2019

Today’s Focus                                                                                  Washed in water                  

Today’s Scripture Reading                                                                         Luke 3:21-23

The Baptism of Jesus

21 One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As he was praying, the heavens opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy,”

23 Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry. Jesus was known as the son of Joseph.

Daily Reflection                                                                                 Pastor’s reflection

For the first seven months of my Theological education, I spent an incredible amount of time trying to fully understand how baptism worked.  I read, I prayed, I spoke to many of my professors about the topic, but still I languished trying to understand the mechanics of baptism.  Then one evening after a particularly frustrating evening trying to understand I decided to go outside my apartment from some air.

My next door neighbor and my friend was outside smoking a cigarette and drinking an adult beverage.  He looked at me and said “Jerry, what’s the matter with you?  You look like you’ve been through a war.”  And so I shared my frustration with my friend about this topic.  His pondering lasted about two seconds when he looked me in the eyes and said; “who cares how it works, so long as we know it does work!”

Seven months of worry, study, education…. Found their fulfillment in a conversation that lasted about five minutes!

Renewed daily in our truest identity as a child of God, known and revealed to us through our baptism into Christ, we are called to love our God and to love our neighbor as our self.

Some questions for reflection

  • Only two of the four gospels share the story of Jesus’ birth, yet all four gospels speak to Jesus’ baptism. Do you suppose that this information might provide any insight?
  • Immediately following the above cited Scripture, Luke shares Jesus’ genealogy all the way back to Adam. If Jesus’ genealogy extends back to Adam and ultimately God and we have been united with Christ in our baptism, does this change our understanding of our own story?

Today’s discipleship challenge

For the rest of our Lenten journey try to think of a way that throughout your busy day you can remind yourself of your baptism and your identity as a child of God. Share what you will do with your group or a trusted friend and ask them to help hold you accountable to discipline.

Today’s prayer

We give You thanks, O God, that through water and the Holy Spirit You give Your daughters and sons new birth, cleanse us from sin, and raise us to eternal life.  Sustain us all with the gift of Your Holy Spirit; the spirt of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord, the spirit of joy in Your presence, both now and forever. Amen.

4 thoughts on “Fri. March 29

  1. Lisa Mantz

    In today’s Daily Reflection, I was particularly struck by “who cares how it works, so long as we know it does work!” All I can say to that is “AMEN!”

    Have a wonderful, blessed day!

    Reply
  2. Keith Ricks

    QUESTION 1.
    Only two of the four gospels share the story of Jesus’ birth, yet all four gospels speak to Jesus’ baptism. Do you suppose that this information might provide any insight?

    Well, if by insight You mean Jesus’ death and resurrection, yes. I’m fairly certain going under the water symbolizes cleansing of Your old ways or burial of Your old life and coming out of it You are brought back alive.

    But what I find really interesting here was Jesus the Teachers Check-List, ‘cause You just know he had one… “hmm, lets see… John seems to have a good crowd going on today, I should stop down and get # 46 crossed off my list: Demonstrate the importance of getting Baptised.”
    Jesus whispers to the Americans reading this, “Yes, I know You all spell it ‘Baptized’, but it was suppose to be historical dialog. “
    Jesus was not a sinner, but there He goes, getting baptised anyway, showing us the way, being the example. Not to mention He had more pull, and who knows if His Fans and Followers would have done this if He had not. Go Jesus! Very Clever Jesus… Of Course He did kind of have an Advantage… I seriously doubt God would have put Him here as an imbecile.

    QUESTION 2.
    Immediately following the above cited Scripture, Luke shares Jesus’ genealogy all the way back to Adam. If Jesus’ genealogy extends back to Adam and ultimately God and we have been united with Christ in our baptism, does this change our understanding of our own story?

    No, No it doesn’t. Why would it?

    I am kind of left feeling as though I could get baptized again and wipe away some of the old stuff, if You know what I mean, but at the same point that makes me feel as thought the baptism itself, being a kind of a Sin-Wipe-Awaying loop hole would be a sin so would You really make out? Same thing with Confessions, that loop-hole thing seems like a cheat. Lessons Learned is always Good, and I understand there is not always time to use the lessons that You learned, but anything that is Truly Learned and Earned into Your Heart spreads outward, I believe into all Your deeds… kind of the You think Twice about Everything You do and that is the Good and the God in You… Kind of thing… at least until You feel a little more certain in Your deeds… babble babble babble… Sorry folks, I didn’t feel comfortable until the Scroll Bars appeared! Keith

    Reply
  3. Pastor Jerry

    You make me giggle!
    I think that all four gospels cover Jesus’ baptism might suggest that the original disciples believed this event was of even more importance than recalling His birth narrative. Certainly He “blazes” a path for all those who would follow.
    You’re idea about a “sin loop” has not been lost on our church forebearers. Emperor Constantine, I was told waited until he was on his death bed until he was baptized for that very reason. I kind of like Luther’s understanding on the topic when he shares that daily we die to our old sinful self and daily we are reborn into our baptism. For myself, to get “re-baptized” is to suggest that somehow, God didn’t get it right the first time. BUT…. to remember our baptism, to re-affirm our baptismal vows daily and often…. very powerful to reminding us the importance of God’s grace upon us!
    For myself, listing Jesus’ lineage, is truly cool…. because it traces His human aspect back to the beginning. His story, His lineage, becomes OUR story and OUR lineage! Sometime you’ll need to remind me to share the story of apostolic succession with you and how powerful that can be!
    P, B, & L
    PJ

    Reply

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