We’ll miss being together on Sunday, January 13, but with the anticipated icy conditions, we want to be safe. We will observe our mission emphasis and enjoy some of the special music scheduled for January 13 on January 27.
January 13 is the second Sunday of Epiphany. You’ll find the scripture readings for the day here. The focus is on the baptism of Jesus. Think back to your own baptism. Do you remember it? Many of us were infants when we were received as members of our childhood faith communities. What does it really mean to be baptized? As Moravians, baptism is a little different from other denominations in that, like Jesus’s baptism, it is a communal event. You can remind yourself about the sacrament of Baptism on the Moravian Church in North America website.
Jesus’s baptism is a significant event. Ronald J. Allen talks about this in his commentary on the Working Preacher website:
“When Jesus came to be baptized, he came to be publicly identified as the pivotal figure in the movement towards the realm. Moreover, his baptism signaled that God was now taking steps through the ministry of Jesus to signal that the turning of the ages expected by John has now begun to take place. As preachers are want to say, it is both present and future: its signs in the present point to the future consummation at Jesus’ return.
Jesus’ baptism takes place in community. It is not a private occurrence. This communal dimension reminds listeners that they when they are baptized, they become part of a new social world. My sense is that a good many people today are moving away from the radical individualism of modernity and are longing for community.
The voice from heaven (God’s voice) identifies Jesus as God’s son, in whom God is well pleased. In first century context, these words have less to do with the nature of Jesus and more with his purpose. God’s words recall two texts. The Jewish people used Psalm 2 at the coronation of a new monarch. In 2:7, God adopts the monarch as God’s son. Thus, God adopts Jesus as divine representative in the final transition from old age to new age.”
We hope you find your time at home refreshing and relaxing. We look forward to seeing you next Sunday!