Our scripture this week is Matthew 3:13-17.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, 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, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
The Jews had practiced baptism before Jesus came into the world, but it was only for those who converted to Judaism. Not until John the Baptist began to preach repentance did the Jews go to be baptized themselves. Many thought that because they were the children of Abraham and God’s chosen people they had no need for repentance or baptism.
Some however began to see that for an honest relationship with God and His Messiah a change in their lives was necessary. Jesus came among us to be one of us and so He too went to the Jordan to be baptized by John. He did this with a right heart in order to show that the symbolic act of baptism carries a spiritual gift. Some call it “an outward sign of an inward change”.
We are called to remember our baptism and the covenant we make through our profession of faith. It shows our commitment to God and a promise to live out the lessons Jesus taught. God reaches out to us with forgiveness, and through baptism we accept His love and mercy to guide our lives.
Loving Lord, we often live as if our baptism never happened, not loving You or our neighbors. Lead us back to Your path and let Your light show us the right way of living in accordance with the promise we have made. Amen.