This Second Sunday of January is observed as the Baptism of Our Lord Sunday. The assigned Gospel reading, from Matthew 3 tells of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist. So, this Sunday, Covenant will join with others churches around the world in offering worshipers the opportunity for baptism or reaffirmation of their baptismal vows. In Christianity, baptism is thought to be a new beginning on a journey of faith walking in relationship with Christ.
At the beginning of this first year of this new decade, social media was filled with cute sayings and all manner of folks proclaiming their hopes and desires for a new beginning in their lives. With so much talk about new beginnings; why do so few experience them?
I think maybe it’s because too often the loudest voices heard from faith leaders are filled with disparaging words of condemnation based on bad interpretation of scripture. In the assigned Epistle text from Acts 10, the Apostle Peter proclaims a truth that counters such voices of negativity. It is a truth that we all need to hear often, believe totally and trust completely, if we are to experience the new beginnings God intends for us to have. Peter says in vs. 34-35, “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears (reverence) Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him.”
When we trust as Peter tells us in a God who shows no partiality; and taking note of what happened when Jesus was baptized, we realize that God is still speaking to us, offering us the hope of forgiveness, showing the faithfulness of God’s love and sharing with us the joy of a new beginning.
Join us at Covenant for our first worship celebration at our new location (The United Church Center, 2817 6Th Ave, South, Birmingham 35233); and at a new time (11:30 AM). My sermon for this historical occasion will be “The Baptism of our Lord & A New Beginning” based on “Acts 10:34-43” and “Matthew 3:13-17.”