The Baptism of Christ. Pietro Perugino. circa 1482. Fresco in the Sistine Chapel
“John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed,
‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven,
‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’”
Happy new year!
This week in our service, we will focus on the Baptism of Jesus and what that means for us, his followers, in our times. Most of us were baptized as infants, and promises were made on our behalf regarding our faith and how we will live that out. We rarely take the time to consider how those promises are for us to keep, not the ones who made them for us. Living our faith and having the changes baptism promised are things we should consider from time to time and act on as well.
Not only is this the first Sunday of 2024, but it is also the first Sunday in January. As is the custom at St. Andrew’s, we will be sharing Communion. The Session has agreed that the time is right for returning to pre-Covid Communion practices! Therefore, we will be passing the elements to congregants from a common tray. We are asking people to sit close to the aisle ends of the pews to help facilitate distribution. It is the practice of the congregation to wait until the elements are distributed to everyone, and then partake together. If you are not comfortable taking the bread and an individual cup from a common tray, please feel free to bring your own elements from home so that you may commune with us. And, if you are worshipping from home via the livestream, perhaps take a moment before the service to prepare some bread and a cup so that you also may participate in Communion with us.
Have a look at the Order of Service, scripture readings, hymn lyrics and announcements below – this electronic form includes hyperlinks for easy connection, but you can print the pages if you wish for reference as the hour unfolds, or even through the week. We invite you to join in worship, study and service as you are able.