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The Bulletin Insert Sunday 10th January,2016 The Baptism of the Lord. New beginnings

Lismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insert – Sunday 10th January 2016, The Baptism of our Lord

New Beginnings Isa 43:1-7, Acts 8:14-17, Luke 3:15-22


The Gospel of Luke presents a clearly defined history of the way God has entered human history. Today’s Gospel tells the story of the crossing of the threshold from the old to the new. Many, their expectancy roused by his fierce preaching and his baptism, mistakenly think that John the Baptist is the Messiah. John tells them that he only prepares the way. He is only able to baptize in water, an ancient ritual signifying conversion and repentance. As such, he is not even worthy to perform the most menial of tasks for the one who is to come.

If the one who is to come will baptize in the Holy Spirit, then he must be possessed by the Holy Spirit. At Jesus’ baptism two events take place. One is visual and the other aural. The decent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus is describes as the decent of a dove. Then a voice from Heaven announces that Jesus is the beloved Son of God, upon whom God’s favor rests.

The arrival of Jesus is not the end of the story. One part of God’s history has come to a close, but another is about to begin. The wonder of God coming among us has been celebrated over the Christmas period. Now we are called to live lives that reflect our belief that he is truly among us. Jesus’ baptism begins his messianic presence as the beloved Son of God, bringing the Spirit and God’s favor to our story.

As we begin our year we are challenged to recall our own baptism, where we too were made into sons and daughters of God, filled with his Holy Spirit, and commissioned to bring God’s favor and fire into our world. We have been given the program for the year ahead.

(Adapted from This is the Gospel of the Lord – Year C, by Francis J. Moloney, p 68-9).

Acts 8:14-17 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit 16 (for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). 17 Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.




Luke 3:15-22 15 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16 John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”18 So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people. 19 But Herod the ruler, who had been rebuked by him because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil things that Herod had done, 20 added to them all by shutting up John in prison. 21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”


Isaiah 43:1-7 But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life.Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north, “Give them up,” and to the south, “Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”