Sermons 2006
Epiphany 1B, 8 January 2006, "The Baptism of our Lord -- and Ours", Mark 1:7-11

Home | "Light and Darkness", Christmas 2C, 31 December 2006, John 1:1-18 | Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2006 | "What then shall we do?", Advent 3C , 17 December 2006, Luke 3:7-18 | "Luke's Gospel", Advent 1C, 3 Dec 2006, Luke 21:25-31 | Which Jesus? Proper 29B 2006, 26 November 2006, John 18:33-37 | Apocalypticism and Fundamentalism, Proper 28B, 19 Nov 2006, Daniel12; Mark 13:14-23 | "The Widow's Mite: All and Everything", Proper 27B, 12 November 2006, Mark 12:38-44 | "The Commandments to love God, Neighbor, One Another" Proper 26B, 5 November 2006, Mark 12:28-34 | "Sight -- and Seeing" Proper 25B, 29 October 2006, Mark 10:46-52 | "Baptism: Overwhelming Washing", Proper 24B, 22 October 2006 Mark 10:35-45 | "God's Transforming Love", Proper 23B, 15 October 2006, Mark 10:17-31 | "Divorce", Proper 22B, 8 February 2006, Mark 10: 2-9 | "Hard Sayings and Sharp Words", Proper 21B, 1 October 2006, Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48 | "First or Last?" Proper 20B, 24 September 2006, Mark 9:30-37 | "Unintended Consequences", Proper 19B, 17 September 2006, Mark 8:27-38 | "Ephphatha! Open up!" Proper 18B, 10 September 2006, Mark 7:31-37 | "Rituals", Proper 17B, 3 September 2006, Deuteronomy 4:1-9; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 | "Choices." Proper 16B, 30 August 2006, Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-25; John 6:60-69 | "Come to the Table." Proper 15B, 20 August 2006, John 6:53-59 | "Do not be afraid." Proper 12B, 30 July 2006, Mark6:45-52 | "General Convention and Jesus' Compassion", Proper 11B, 23 July 2006, Mark 6: 30-44 | "Basics for the Journey", Proper 10B, 16 July 2006, Mark 6:7-13 | "Jesus and Rejection", Proper 9B, 9 July 2006, Mark 6:1-6 | "Trust, Faith, and Belief" Proper 8B, 2 July 2006, Mark 5:22-43 | "Storms, Fear, and Faith" Proper 7B, 25 June 2006, Mark 4:35-41 | Mighty things from Small, Proper 6B, 18 June 2006, Mark 4:26-34 | Trinity, Pentecost 1, 11 June 2006, Exodus 3:1-6; John 3:1-16 | The King Jesus Fire-Baptized Holy Spirit Church, Pentecost , 4 June, Acts 2:1-11; Jn 20:19-23 | "That they may be one" General Convention 2006, Easter 7B 28 May 2006, John 5:9-15 | "Friends, friendship, and love" Easter 6B, 21 May 2006, John 15:9-17 | Mother's Day, two mothers' love!" Easter 5B, 14 April 2006, John 14:15-21 | "Interesting, this Good Shepherd!" Easter 4B, 7 May 2006, John 10:11-16 | "How do you prove you are alive?", Easter 3B, 30 April 2006, Luke 24:36b-48 | "Do you believe because...." Easter 2B, 23 April 2006, John 20:19-31 | "He goes before you to Galilee...." Easter B 2006, 16 April, Mark 16:1-8 | "Journey into darkness", Palm Sunday B, 9 April 2006. Mark 11:1-11, 14:32-15:47 | "Sir, we would see Jesus!" Lent 5B, 2 April 2006, John 12:20-33 | "Miracles and Faith, Ordinary and Not", Lent 4B 2006, 26 March 2006, John 6:4-15 | "Rage, Rampage, and Outrage", Lent 3B, 19 March 2006, John 2: 13-22 | "Images of the Cross", Lent 2B, 12 March 2006, Mark 8:31-38 | "Baptism, Temptation, Redemption," Lent 1B, 5 March 2005, Mark 1:9-13 | Ash Wednesday , 1 March 2006, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 | ""Nanny McPhee' and transfiguration", Epiphany Last B, Mark 9:2-9 | "Jesus, leprosy, and the law of Moses", Epiphany 6B, 12 February 2006, Mark 1:40-45 | "Healing, wholeness, forgiveness, and love", Epiphany 5B, 5 February 2006, Mark 1:29-39 | "Haints, Unclean spirits, and demons" Epiphany 4B, 22 January 2006, Mark 1:21-28 | Epiphany 3B, 22 January 2006, "God's Call -- and Our Response", Mark 1:14-20 | Epiphany 2B, 15 January 2006, "Call and Response", John 1:43-51 | Epiphany 1B, 8 January 2006, "The Baptism of our Lord -- and Ours", Mark 1:7-11 | The Holy Name, 1 January 2006, Luke 2: 15-21

Epiphany 1B 2006 Baptism of Our Lord Mark 1:7-11

In a real sense the story of the first Sacrament, Holy Baptism, begins with the opening of each gospel and ends with the post resurrection appearance story in the Fourth Gospel.

From our Gospel lesson for today: “In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee an 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.”

And from the Fourth Gospel, the gospel according to Saint John: “Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.”

We don’t know if any of the disciples had ever been baptized with water and the Holy Spirit. We know from the gospels that Jesus was. But the disciples were certainly baptized with the Holy Spirit on this day when the crucified, dead, and buried but resurrected Jesus appeared to them in their midst.

In our own baptisms, we receive a new identity. And more importantly we become the new creation we were meant to be when we were first born. In baptism, we are covered with Christ. A little boy in Sunday School was once asked what baptism means, and he said, "Baptism is when God puts a cross on your forehead, and nobody sees it, but God sees it."

To be baptized means that when God looks at us, He sees Jesus. We are no longer defined by how we've missed the mark. We are defined by Jesus Christ and the unique relationship that each of us develops with him.

Not that baptism means that life is easier. You and I know that's not true. When we leave church and go back into the world, as we are called to do, we will hear those same messages again. "Do this, and be somebody." Buy this and be important. Get yourself some of this so you can amount to something." Pressure, peer and societal, both good and bad.

Nor does that mean we instantly become only pure and good. Not at all. It means that we have been given a standard to meet, a gift, an eternal and everlasting gift that we see before us all our days to live into and which transcends space and time.

Our baptism is with us to protect us when we are in the dark night of the soul – the Holy Spirit is always with us to guard, guide, and protect. There’s a story about a priest who was in one of those dark passages of life – and we all have them to some degree or another. He also had times when he felt that doubt and despair. He also had times when he was tormented by his inadequacies.

But when this happened, he would take a piece of chalk, and go over to a table, and he would write out the words, "baptizatus sum," which means, "I am baptized." He was reminding himself that God had claimed him in Christ, and nothing could ever change that. No one, nothing, nobody could snatch him out of the Savior's hand. That God’s Holy Spirit was always there with him.

All of us have such times in our lives, times when the lies we hear seem to find a home in us, times when we too have doubt and despair, times when we are all too aware that we have missed the mark. At such times, we can always remember that "baptizatus sum." We are wrapped in Christ. This is the truth about who we are, and nothing can snatch us away from Christ.

Baptizatus sum. I am a child of God, and God has spoken to me the same words he spoke to Jesus: "You are my son. You are my daughter. You are the Beloved. With you I am well﷓pleased. My baptism was and is the most important day of my life"

I know that sometimes we may have difficulty trusting that. There’s as story about a Bible study group where the leader asked each person to these words about themselves: "I am baptized. I belong to Jesus Christ. Nothing can ever snatch me away. I am the beloved. God is well﷓pleased with me. I am now and always will be a child of God, one of the Body of Christ"

They each said this about themselves. But then they got to one person who either couldn’t or wouldn’t say it. Maybe he didn't believe it. Maybe he was just too shy. Whatever the reason, he just couldn't say it. And so one of the other men went and stood behind him, and put his hands on his shoulders, and said, "This man is baptized. This man belongs to Jesus Christ. Nothing can ever snatch him away. He is the beloved. God is well﷓pleased with him. He is now and always will be a child of God, one of the Body of Christ"

This is what we should say to ourselves every day. Our baptisms mean that Jesus Christ stands behind us all your days for time and eternity. He puts His hands on your shoulders, and He says, "You belong to me. Nothing can ever snatch you away. You are the beloved. God is well﷓pleased with you." This is what God has done in Christ for all the baptized, and the gates of hell shall not and can not prevail against it.


Wicomico Parish Church
PO Box 70
Wicomico Church, Virginia 22579