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Pastor's Notes from The Scribe (February 2014)

posted Jan 22, 2014, 1:04 PM by Pastor Russ Crouthamel
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John to be baptized by him in the Jordan River. But John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you come to me?” So Jesus replied to him, “Let it happen now, for it is right for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John yielded to him. ~ Matthew 3:13-15

Every year, following the holy day of the Epiphany of Our Lord, we celebrate the Baptism of Our Lord. We remember that, in the waters of the Jordan River, Jesus was revealed as the beloved Son of God. Through this great revelation, Jesus fulfills all righteousness: he becomes a servant of God who will be the light to all people and bring forth justice to the creation.

Baptism is an important gift God gives to us through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In the waters of baptism we are given promise when we are joined to the death and resurrection of Christ – that God will forgive all our sins, deliver us from the forces of darkness, and give us everlasting salvation. We are also given another precious gift – we are anointed with God’s Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the eternal presence of Christ with us. The Holy Spirit is the one who calls us to the gospel, gives us spiritual gifts for ministry, keeps us holy, and gathers all people to Christ. Most importantly, though, in baptism we are named as God’s beloved children. We become fellow brothers and sisters of the Lord Jesus Christ and a part of the Church.

The time following the celebration of Pentecost is called “ordinary time” in the church. It is a time to grow in our faith as we move through the church year (hence, the color green is used in liturgy). However, the time following the Epiphany is also ordinary time. In March we will begin the Lenten season. Prior to our Lenten journeys, I ask you to meditate on, reflect upon, and pray about the gift of baptism and how you can grow in your baptismal callings “to let your light so shine before you, so that others may see your good works and give glory to our Father in heaven.” Here are some ideas for reflection:
1. Read Scripture – Scripture reveals to us God’s love for the world in Jesus Christ. Take some time to read the narratives about Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-13, Luke 3:21-22). Or reflect upon other Scripture texts about what baptism means for our lives: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Romans 6:1-6, Acts 10, Galatians 3:23-27, or any others you might come across in your reflection.
2. Review Luther’s Small Catechism – In baptism, sponsors are called to care for the newly baptized in their faith development. With children, sponsors are called to teach young children the 10 Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer. Luther’s Small Catechism offers concise explanations of these articles and explains the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Baptism. So pull out your old copy of the catechism or go online at
3. Pray and Worship Regularly – Prayer connects us to the Triune God. Worship connects us to Triune God in the midst of the community of faith. Stay connected to the one who gives you this gift and the community that works to help one another grow in their baptismal callings.
God’s Peace ~ Pastor Maureen

Prayer: O God our Father, at the baptism of Jesus you proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit. Make all who are baptized into Christ faithful to their calling to be your sons and daughters, and empower us all with your Spirit, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.