Sunday, January 3, 2021

Monday prior to the Baptism of our Lord


It’s a New Year and a new season – Epiphany. The first Sunday after the Epiphany is a special day – the baptism of our Lord. In the early church Epiphany was celebrated in terms of Jesus’ baptism. In keeping with the festival, the liturgical color is white.

Psalm 2:7-11, 12c—The Antiphon, is taken from Isaiah 42:1a “Behold my servant whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights.” In ancient times the term “servant” meant something like “trusted envoy” or “confidential representative” but here there is more. This is the Lord’s chosen one, the one in whom the Lord delights, the one in whom the Lord’s Spirit is given. This is a prediction of Christ who comes to make our salvation a reality. With His baptism, not only does the Savior begin His ministry, but from here on there can be no turning back. Salvation will find its completion at a bloody and cruel cross and an empty tomb. The Baptism of Jesus marks the beginning of His earthly ministry where He will bring salvation. In baptism you are brought to the Savior and in Him you are sheltered protected, and sealed.

Collect for the Baptism of our LordFather in heaven at the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River You proclaimed Him Your beloved Son and anointed Him with the Holy Spirit. Make all who are baptized in His name faithful to their calling as Your children and inheritors with Him of everlasting life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.[1]

Collect for Psalm 2: Lord God, you gave the people of the world to be the inheritance of your Son: you crowned him as king of Zion, your holy city, and gave him your church as his ride. As he proclaimed the way of your eternal kingdom, may we serve him faithfully, and so know the royal power of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. [2]

[1] Collect for the Baptism of our Lord, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

[2] Collect for Psalm 2, For All the Saints A Prayer book for and by the Church © 1995 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau,  Delhi, NY

Woodcut “The Baptism of Jesus” Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, The Book of Books in Pictures © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use.

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