This upcoming Sunday the Church Year celebrates the Baptism of our Lord. It also comes a day after the celebration of Epiphany, when we commemorate the visit by the Magi to the home of the Infant Jesus.
So what does all this mean to you and to me? Jesus was baptized. And he was made known to and worshiped by Gentile wisemen.
The Scriptures invite us also to be baptized:
“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)
Most of us are also Gentiles, And we are told of the birth of the Savior of the world, and invited to worship and serve Him.
But what does baptism mean? To baptize is to apply water. So it can refer to sprinkling, or immersion. And when done “in the name of” of the Triune God, it means we are placing the name of God upon that person.
As the Heavenly Father said at Jesus’ baptism, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased”, so at our baptisms, we are told that
“As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ…you belong to Christ.” (Galatians 3:27, 29)
So we too are children of God, belonging to Him. And we are dearly loved by God! Our identity is in Jesus Christ. As Romans 8 promises, “as children of God, then heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” So the Heavenly Father looks at us now as brothers and sisters of His Son, Jesus.
This means that all that Jesus has accomplished as Savior of the world is passed on to each and every one of us.
The Magi traveled far and experienced challenges and dangers, to see and worship the Christ. What are we willing to do to see and worship and serve Jesus the Christ? It certainly is worth whatever we can give and do, as fellow redeemed children of God.
Happy New Year! A year (as every year is) blessed by God’s presence and grace and love!
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Copyright 2023. Resurrection Lutheran Church, New Berlin, WI
RESURRECTION LUTHERAN CHURCH
Steve Rutter, Pastor
Julie Johnson, Worship Music Coordinator
Steph Albert, Worship Music
Larry Gnatzig, Office Administration
12400 West Coldspring Road
New Berlin, Wisconsin 53151