Friday, January 7, 2022

Saturday prior to Epiphany 1 - The Baptism of our Lord


Luke 3:21-22 This week’s hymn of the week, “To Jordan came the Christ, our Lord”. Written by Martin Luther tells the story of salvation. The hymn recounts Christ’s own baptism and the new life He offers to us. As you meditate upon this wonderful hymn, resolve to daily walk with Him who has promised to order your days and direct you path.

This hymn, which comes from late in Luther’s life (1541), is classified by the Lutheran Book of Worship as an Epiphany season offering. That is fitting, although it was originally conceived by Luther to support musically the teaching of the Catechism on the sacrament of Baptism.  The Baptism of our Lord marks the epiphany or manifestation of the mystery of the Holy Trinity at the inauguration of our Lord’s messianic ministry.

The Voice from heaven attests Jesus’ Sonship and seals this attestation with the anointing of the Spirit in the figure of the dove who in turn drives Jesus into battle with the unholy spirits. In Luther’s hymn it is just this coordination of Baptism and the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit which is taken up from the gospel narrative and developed in the patristic tradition. Indeed, what is striking is Luther’s grounding in this hymn of the baptismal death of the sinner and resurrection of the believer in the narrative theology of Trinitarian advent. [2] 

A prayer for newness of life in Christ – Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness and put upon ourselves the armor of life, now in the time of this mortal life, in which Your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility, that in the last day, when He shall come again in glory to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal.[3]

[1] Baptism, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

[3] Collect for newness of life in Christ, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St Louis

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