Baptized in water, sealed by the Spirit, marked with the sign of Christ our King; born of the Spirit, we are God’s children; joyfully now God’s praises we sing!

from “Baptized in Water,” Michael A. Saward, 1981

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At that time Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River so that John would baptize him. John tried to stop him and said, “I need to be baptized by you, yet you come to me?”

Jesus answered, “Allow me to be baptized now. This is necessary to fulfill all righteousness.”

So John agreed to baptize Jesus.

Matthew 3:13-15

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John the Baptist is confused, and maybe you are too. Jesus, the Son of God, is asking to be baptized? John says “Wait a minute. If anyone needs to be baptized around here, it’s me! Why don’t you baptize me instead of me baptizing you?” But Jesus isn’t having anything of it. He tells John he needs to be baptized, and right away.

A Bible scholar named Dale Bruner says that Jesus didn’t want to get baptized because he had sinned and needed to be forgiven. Instead, Jesus wanted to be baptized to mark his call. He wanted a public sign to tell everyone that he wanted to do the will of God more than anything else.

When we get baptized, either our parents or we promise to be Jesus’ disciples. In other words, we promise that we want to do God’s will more than anything else. What step can you take this weekend to show other people that doing what God wants you to do is the most important thing in your life?

Chip Hardwick

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Lord Jesus, thank you for showing me what it looks like to live out God’s will fully. Strengthen me so that I can be your faithful disciple, following you publicly and faithfully living out God’s will. In your name O Jesus, savior of the universe, amen.

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Child of Blessing, child of promise, baptized with the Spirit’s sign, with this water God has sealed you unto love and grace divine!

from “Child of Blessing, Child of Promise,” Ronald S. Cole Turner, 1980

Chip Hardwick

Chip Hardwick is a pastor serving as the Director of Theology, Formation, and Evangelism for the Presbyterian Church (USA). He follows the star in Louisville, Kentucky, with his cat Ahoy.

Advent - Watchmen Tell Us

Mark Hayes

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