Celebrating the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
Opening Prayer: “The Cry of the Deer”
I arise today
through the strength of Christ’s birth
with his baptism,
through the strength of his crucifixion
with his burial,
through the strength of his resurrection
with his ascension,
through the strength of his dissent
for the judgement of doom.
I arise today
through God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak to me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me.
Scripture Isaiah 42:1-7
The first servant song.
1 Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
2 He will not cry or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
3 a bruised reed he will not break,
and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 He will not grow faint or be crushed
until he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his teaching.
5 Thus says God, the LORD,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
6 I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness,
I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
a light to the nations,
7 to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
34 Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37 That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 44 While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, 46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, 47 “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.
Gospel Matthew 3:13-17
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.
17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
For men and women of the Celtic church, God was a living and glorious reality which supernaturalised their everyday life and transformed their most ordinary events into sublime worship. For them, God was a Divine Reality to be encountered each day in each event and each decision. This is a God of the now, involved in the present situation and his will and way are to be discovered and followed.
We are called to be the beloved of God, with the breath of God’s life energising and affirming us, like Jesus, because of our baptism.
Does this make a difference?
Like all relationships, to be immersed in the Trinity needs our constant attention. Water baptism is only the beginning of the adventure of total immersion. We must daily immerse ourselves in the power of the Sacred Three. “We dwell in God and God is us” – Emmanuel.
from “The Cry of the Deer” by David Adam
May the strength of God pilot us,
may the power of God preserve us,
may the wisdom of God instruct us,
may the hand of God protect us,
may the way of God direct us,
may the shield of God defend us,
and may our compassionate God bless us, Father Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.