Friday after the First Sunday after Christmas
Scripture: St. Luke 3:21-22 (NKJV)
3:21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
Your Baptism probably didn’t seem quite as spectacular as Jesus’ Baptism. God does not have to visibly descend or audibly speak for us to know what is accomplished at the font. Instead, He shows us what He does and gives to us by what happens when Jesus is baptized. Just as the Holy Spirit descends upon Him and the Father declares Jesus to be His beloved Son, so is the Holy Spirit given, even to infants. The most notorious sinner who comes looking for mercy is given a place as a child and heir of God for Jesus’ sake in Baptism.
In the Baptism of Jesus we see:
• the Holy and Blessed Trinity is present, each Person being clearly and distinctly seen or heard, affirming that the true God is One God in Three distinct, but inseparable Persons;
• the declaration of who Jesus is at the beginning of His earthly ministry. As we see Him abused, scorned, and eventually crucified, we know that this is no mere man, but, in truth, God the Son, suffering such things for our sake and doing that which pleases God for us. (We see this also in St. Matthew’s account, where Jesus describes His Baptism as necessary for the fulfilling of all righteousness. He did and allowed to be done to Him all that any sinner would have needed in order to receive the forgiveness of sins and imputation of righteousness, because we even fall short in our receiving of such gifts.);
• again, this declaration of Christ’s Sonship as the declaration of what is applied to us when we are robed with Him in Holy Baptism! (Gal. 3:26–29).
Help us rejoice, O Lord, in what is not evident to our eyes, except through the Word of Your Son! Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.