Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Baptism of the Lord, January 8, 2017 - Isaiah 42:1-9, Matthew 3:13-17

Bazile, Castera: Baptism of Jesus,
Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral, Port au Prince, Haiti
 mostly destroyed by earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010
under reconstruction

Why does it matter that Jesus was baptized?

Why does it matter that Jesus was baptized?
Only that you really join him right there -
Into the water you go, as John holds you,
Then there's the voice as you gasp in fresh air;
Yes, of the Maker of all, you're beloved!
Chosen, and in whom our God is well-pleased;
How do I know this?  Isaiah says, clearly,
"Servant" means people whom God dearly sees
As those who are called to bring justice to all,
God is delighted with such a great scheme!
Taking God's people in hand as we step out,
We are God's servants, whose work, to redeem
People from darkness, injustice and prison;
We will not whine, nor our spirits be quenched -
Jesus was baptized so we, as God's people,
With water and spirit our lives might be drenched!

Scott L. Barton

Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not grow faint or be crushed
until he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his teaching.

Thus says God, the LORD,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness,
I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
a light to the nations,
to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the LORD, that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to idols.
See, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth,
I tell you of them.


Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

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