Jesus’ baptism, Our baptism

Jesus’ baptism, Our baptism

“Who is this Jesus?”

Even in the first century, anyone who didn’t know that Jesus was the Christ simply wasn’t paying attention. God had been telling how He would come and who He would be with prophet after prophet. John the Baptist was the last of these.

John’s birth was a miracle. John’s naming was miraculous. John was on track to be the most famous man of his generation, but he wasn’t. He wasn’t, because his life’s purpose was to point to Jesus and to give a sinner’s baptism to the Son of God.

This is great news for us. Today’s sermon text, from the first chapter of Mark, helps us to remember some of the ways that this is so.

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

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Announcements

Our doors are open. We are holding the Divine Service again and it is a delight to see familiar faces. Please come prepared with a face mask or covering and new rules to follow. There will NOT be Sunday School but we will continue to hold the Divine Service at 11 am. You can read the full policy here. Another post covers the highlights.

Voters’ Meeting: Please note that the next Voters’ Meeting is January 17th via Zoom.

Wednesday Bible Study – We have resumed meeting via Zoom at 7 pm. Please contact Pastor if you need a Zoom invite.

NEW Bible Information Class Starting: All are welcome to join – whether it’s your first time or a refresher – we will meet starting on January 31st at 9:30 am. Please let Pastor know ahead of time if you plan to attend.

Donations: Unfortunately the expenses go on. If you wish to make a donation please mail them to the St. James post office box as that is a secure location.

Prayer requests. Bring your prayer requests to Pastor Jenson, Deacon Poe, or Loyd Harris (bulletin typist). They will printed in the bulletin and prayed in the Sunday service. The deadline is Tuesday for mailing on Wednesday. Remember if you are bringing a prayer request on behalf of another person their permission must be obtained.

Prayer during a pandemic:

Almighty God, heavenly Father, give us grace to trust You during this time of illness and distress. In mercy put an end to the pandemic that afflicts us. Grant relief to those who suffer, and comfort all that mourn. Sustain all medical personnel in their labors, and cause Your people ever to serve You in righteousness and holiness; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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