Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Monday after the Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on July 8, 2024 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Mark 1:9-11 (NKJV)
1:9 It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. 11 Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
If you were baptized as an infant and grew up regularly hearing the Bible stories, you might not catch the unusualness of this event and its corresponding importance. Dr. Luther says in the Large Catechism, “In the same manner, and even much more, you should honor and exalt Baptism on account of the Word, since God himself has honored it by words and deeds and has confirmed it by wonders from heaven. Do you think it was a jest that the heavens opened when Christ allowed himself to be baptized, that the Holy Spirit descended visibly, and that the divine glory and majesty were manifested everywhere?” (IV. 21)
Are the miracles a jest or triviality? No. First, God’s Word declares to us that Baptism is worthy of trust as a life-giving water which “does now save us” (1 Pet. 3:21). Second, by means of the opened heaven, the descending Spirit, and the Father’s voice, the Triune God is drawing extraordinary attention to Holy Baptism. Third, there is only one baptism (Eph. 4:5), and we “were baptized into Christ” (Rom. 6:3, Gal. 3:27). Though we don’t see these wonders at every Christian’s baptism, great things are occurring. The water and the Word do forgive sins, rescue from death and the devil, and give eternal salvation to all who believe these words.
Collect: Lord of all power and might, Who art the Author and Giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of Thy Name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of Thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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