The Baptism of Our Lord

The Baptism of Our Lord is a movable feast day which is celebrated the first Sunday after the Epiphany. This means that it can fall anywhere from January 7th (if Epiphany is on a Saturday), to January 13th (as it does this year, when Epiphany was on a Sunday).

The baptism of Jesus is found in all three synoptic Gospels (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22), immediately before His temptation. In the Gospel of John, on the other hand, John the Baptist simply mentions what he observed when Jesus was baptized (John 1:32-34), but doesn’t give a firsthand account of the event.

Along with creation, this is the main time we see all three members of the Trinity present together. It also marks the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus.

The Jesus Tree–Day Three

Today’s readings were about the Baptism of Jesus. It was interesting, because we actually read the accounts from Matthew 3:11-17, Mark 6-11, and Luke 3:21-22, and I always find it fascinating to compare what the Evangelists wrote that was the same, and what was different. It’s also interesting to see how some of the events were recorded in a much more concise fashion, while some were more descriptive. Each reading also began, (where applicable), before the actual baptism story, and shared a little information about John the Baptist, and his words of prophecy about Christ, the One “whose sandals [John was] not worthy to carry,” or “untie.” The symbol for these readings is a dove, representing the Holy Spirit, Who came bodily down from Heaven at the Baptism, and, along with the voice of God the Father, marks a rare instance in the Bible when all three Persons of the Godhead are mentioned together in the same place.

Hymn of the Day–“To Jordan’s River Came Our Lord”

It’s funny how soon after the end of Advent that we’re hearing about John the Baptist again in the Scripture readings and hymns, but today is the perfect day for it, as he was the one to baptize Jesus!

To Jordan’s river came our Lord,
The Christ, whom heav’nly hosts adored,
The God from God, the Light from Light,
The Lord of glory, pow’r, and might.

The Savior came to be baptized–
The Son of God in flesh disguised–
To stand beneath the Father’s will
And all His righteousness fulfill.

As Jesus in the Jordan stood
And John baptized the Lamb of God,
The Holy Spirit, heav’nly dove,
Descended on Him from above.

Then from God’s throne with thund’rous sound
Came God’s own voice with words profound:
“This is My Son,” was His decree,
“The one I love, who pleases Me.”

The Father’s word, the Spirit’s flight
Anointed Christ in glorious sight
As God’s own choice, from Adam’s fall
To save the world and free us all.

Now rise, faint hearts, be resolute;
This man is Christ, our substitute!
He was baptized in Jordan’s stream,
Proclaimed Redeemer, Lord supreme. Lutheran Service Book #405

Hymn of the Day–“Songs of Thankfulness and Praise”

Songs of thankfulness and praise,
Jesus, Lord, to Thee we raise,
Manifested by the star
To the sages from afar,
Branch of royal David’s stem
In Thy birth at Bethlehem:
Anthems be to Thee addressed,
God in man made manifest.

Manifest at Jordan’s stream,
Prophet, Priest, and King supreme;
And at Cana wedding guest
In Thy Godhead manifest;
Manifest in pow’r divine,
Changing water into wine;
Anthems be to Thee addressed,
God in man made manifest.

Manifest in making whole
Palsied limbs and fainting soul;
Manifest in valiant flight,
Quelling all the devil’s might;
Manifest in gracious will,
Ever bringing good from ill;
Anthems be to Thee addressed,
God in man made manifest.

Sun and moon shall darkened be,
Stars shall fall, the heav’ns shall flee;
Christ will then like lightning shine,
All will see His glorious sign;
All will then the trumpet hear,
All will see the Judge appear;
Thou by all wilt be confessed,
God in man made manifest.

Grant us grace to see Thee, Lord,
Present in Thy holy Word–
Grace to imitate Thee now
And be pure, as pure art Thou;
That we might become like Thee
At Thy great epiphany
And may praise Thee, ever blest,
God in man made manifest. Lutheran Service Book # 394