Baptism of the Lord 2012

I’ve written about this feast, its history and theology, many times, most recently here. Perhaps today a single thought will suffice. The Baptism of the Lord marks the beginning of his public ministry. It represents something new in his life, and in the life of the world, yet it was, at the time, an obscure act in an obscure corner of the Roman empire. The baptism of an unknown Galilean by an eccentric preacher out in the Judean wilderness was hardly likely to cause any ripples in Rome.

Life is full of new beginnings. Some of them seem significant, at least to ourselves; others are unremarkable; yet if we are open to the grace of God, even our most obscure actions become capable of uniting us with Christ and his mission. As many of the Fathers loved to recall, when Christ went down into the waters of the Jordan, he took us with him. We must also rise with him to become beloved children in whom the Father is well-pleased.


11 thoughts on “Baptism of the Lord 2012”

  1. I’m sad that we can’t celebrate this feast on the actual day. But our Parish mid-week communion tomorrow will celebrate it.

    New beginnings are hopefully coming my way. Diocesan Selection Panel this coming week end for Ordained Ministry. A step which has taken 2 1/2 years to reach.

    God’s will seems to take some time to be discerned, hopefully the Church will discern it so that I can move forward to National Selection.

    But I also know that it could go in completely another direction – God has a sense of humour after all.

  2. Your point on the thoughts of the early Fathers makes e think that it really is the time to renew baptismal vows. In the past I haven’t done it on this day – saving it for the Easter Vigil – but theologically and liturgically this seems more and more to be the better time to do it.

    I did make the effort to visit a saint’s well on the eve of the feast, but it was dry! Best laid plans, eh!

  3. your post today reminds me of two stories/poems: one the ripple from the stone I sent out for New Year, the other where were you Lord when there were only one set of footprints on the sand.
    My prayer for us all is that He picks us up every day of our life and carries us through our problems and joys.

  4. As a Catholic I have often wondered why we don’t have total immersion for Baptism, particularly for adults. It would be nice to have just one total immersion once in our lives- perhaps at a service of renewing the baptismal promises made on our behalf when we were babies children.

    It is such a beautiful and central part of Christ’s ministry- the total immersion of our lives in Christ, and as you say “going down with Christ into the waters of the Jordan so we can rise up again ” is a powerful image :-)) Perhaps it is more to do with costs than symbolism or is it that we emphasise the newness of Christ’s ministry compared with the old covenant of the OT ?
    I realise that we don’t always need to be too literal with events for them to carry significant meaning but I think it would be nice !

    • Some parishes do practise total immersion, but I suppose in the UK it’s never been v. popular because of the climate and custom of infant baptism (Old joke, as PP flounders in the water searching for the baby, ‘Don’t worry, he must be in here somewhere!’)

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