In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.”
From sermon4kids.com: “Wise men, women, boys, and girls are still searching for Jesus. . . . There is no map to help us find Jesus and there is no star to follow, but we do have the Bible. We can find the way to Jesus by reading God’s Holy Word!”
Scripture: January 7, 2018—First Sunday after the Epiphany—Genesis 1:1–5; Acts 19:1–7; Psalm 29; & Mark 1:4–11
Collect: Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Reflection: What is the difference between baptism with water alone (John’s baptism; see Acts 19:3, Mark 1:8) and baptism with the Holy Spirit (baptism into Jesus; see Acts 19:4–5, Mark 1:8)? Why is it still important to use water in baptism? What does water mean in your daily life? What difference does the Holy Spirit make in baptism? What difference does the Holy Spirit make in your daily life?
Sunday School 9:15 am—Let’s get re-started
Brain Food: “Thou art my beloved . . .”—Love tore the heavens open and spoke. If Jesus hadn’t comprehended the fullness of his being before that moment, with the help of John the Baptist at the Jordan River, he understands now. And, as Gregory of Nyssa says, all these things are a figure (typos) of ourselves. The Voice tears open the heavens to declare us Beloved.
So let us celebrate this feast accordingly (meditation one) and acknowledge, too, Christ’s thirst, that is, his longing in love for us (meditation two). And let us be love for one another (meditation three).
“Christ is bathed in light; let us also be bathed in light. Christ is baptized; let us also go down with him, and rise with him.” (Gregory of Nazianzus) Amen!
in light and in love,
“Happy New Year” by Neil Chappell
“Disclosing new worlds” by Lawrence Moore
Movies/Videos: “There will be blood” (2007), baptism as family event or distinction among participants; “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” (2001), note elf-queen Galadriel drawing water for reflection; “The Shipping News” (2001), “ripening of a weak-willed man after he is nourished by a place and some special people”
Video for “Does God still create stuff today?”, Chapter 9