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10th January 2021

posted 8 Jan 2021, 02:43 by Church Office   [ updated 8 Jan 2021, 02:58 ]
Baptism of Christ - Parish Eucharist

This Sunday is the feast of the baptism of Christ. Our readings present baptism, our baptism, as a new creation, being re-made, and re-claimed by God. We start with Genesis and the first creation: humanity formed by the spirit of God, gazed upon and beheld by God, claimed by God as “good”, “separated” and “called” by God – given a distinct identity and purpose. Our gospel then gives us Mark’s version of Christ’s baptism. Mark’s is the shortest and simplest of the gospels: it has none of the razzmatazz of angels, travels, gifts, strangers, cosmic spectacles and changes in time and space. It gives us the basics: a man comes, is baptised. As he emerges from the waters of baptism the spirit of God descends on him and he is called and named by God – claimed as his and claimed as good. God’s re-creation here begins with a human turning up just as he is. Any information about who he is, where he has come from, what special talents and gifts he has, what he has done, what others say about him is irrelevant to Mark. This is how we too begin again by submitting just as we are to being re-made, re-claimed and re-called by God.

Readings 

First Reading: Genesis 1: 1-5
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

THE GOSPEL: Mark 1:4-11
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

Collect 

Heavenly Father,
at the Jordan you revealed Jesus as your Son:
may we recognize him as our Lord
and know ourselves to be your beloved children;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Amen

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