Sunday Worship – The Baptism of Our Lord

Chorale Prelude BWV 732 by JS Bach
Click here to play the music

Call to worship
On that first day, when time began:
you gave birth to creation;
light danced through the darkness;
the waters of hope flowed free and clear.
On that first day at the Jordan, when redemption began:
you spoke of life for all your children,
as your Child stepped into the waters of forgiveness,
dancing in hope with his cousin, John.
On this first day of the week, when we begin anew:
you call us to faithfulness,
as we open our hearts to you,
your voice claiming us as your own.

StF 106 – Hymn – Thou whose almighty word
Click here to listen and watch

Our Prayers
Beloved’s God:
grace is the gift which flows to us from your heart;
joy is the seed planted deep within our souls, that it might blossom into lives of service to all.
And we cry: “Glory!”

Servant of sinners:
you emerge from baptism’s water, to embrace us in your hopes;
you take our fears from us and toss them aside as you lead us into your kingdom;
you shine the Light which brings us out of despair’s shadows.
And we cry: “Glory!”

Wind upon the water:
you move among us sweeping aside our petty pride, and offering us the gifts of humility and servanthood.
You whisper of your yearning for peace and reconciliation, until it silences our angry voices and unclenches our fisted hearts.
And we cry: “Glory!”

God in Community, Holy in One,
we lift our voices as your Beloved teaches,

Our Confession
You and I are now the ones who step forth out of the safe waters of baptism, to bring hope, to share a word of grace, to carry healing into the brokenness of the lives around us. Let us confess how we still struggle
to follow in faith wherever Jesus leads us. Join me as we pray, saying,

Timeless God,
you cast Light into sin’s dark places and call us your Beloved.
Forgive us: when we still linger in the shadows; when we treat others in hurtful ways; when we speak ill of your friends.

As he knelt in the waters of Jordan, you proclaimed Jesus as your Child,
pointing to him as the way to you.
Forgive us: when we put ourselves ahead of him; when we think he is no longer needed; when we fail to see him in the broken of our world.

Baptized and blessed in your living waters, you would have us be your servants in our time.
Forgive us: when we fail to welcome the stranger; when we refuse to forgive as we should; when we believe we are too good to kneel down and tie the shoes of the lost, the least, the last, the little.

Silence is kept

Absolution
Touched by the waters of life, fed at the feast of grace and hope, embraced in the warmth of God’s love and hopes – this is good news!
Blessed by baptism’s tears, called to servanthood by the Beloved, filled with the peace of the Spirit, we are indeed God’s people – redeemed, restored, refreshed to serve. Thanks be to God! Amen.

Reading
Mark 1: v 4 to 11

StF 370 – Hymn – Breathe on me breath of God
Click here to listen and watch

Address
Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

This maybe less of a sermon and more of an exploration we take together.

We need to know, first that all, Christians receive the Spirit upon their conversion;

First, 1 Corinthians 12:13 clearly states that all have been baptized, just as all been given the Spirit to drink, the indwelling of the Spirit.

Second, nowhere in Scripture are believers told to be baptized with, in or by the Spirit. God does command that we be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Third, Ephesians 4:5 seems to refer to Spirit baptism.

The Bible teaches that the Filling of the Spirit is not the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Are the phrases ‘baptised BY the Spirit’ and ‘baptised IN the Spirit’ different from:
‘baptism OF the Spirit’?

Does ‘baptised BY the Spirit’ and ‘baptised IN the Spirit’ speak of our infilling of the Spirit at our recognition of Jesus as Lord?

Does ‘baptism OF the Spirit’ refer to another act as another form of ministry?

Does ‘baptised BY the Spirit’ and ‘baptised IN the Spirit’ speak of our infilling of the Spirit and infill us with the Fruits of the Holy Spirit?

In Galatians 5:22, as opposed to fruits of the flesh Paul lists the following nine fruits of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control.

In 1 Corinthians 13 there is a section on love which is the underpinning of what the Spirit is doing, the ‘why’ of it. According to verses 4-8,

love: is patient, is kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, Is not rude, is not self-seeking, Is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil, rejoices in the truth, always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres.

In Philippians 4:8, Paul advises us to think on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable excellent, praiseworthy.

In Colossians 3:12-16, the church members are told to put on these things: kindness, compassion, humility, gentleness, patience.

Then, they are further instructed to: bear with one another, forgive one another, love one another, let the peace of God rule their hearts, be thankful, let God’s word live in them abundantly, teach one another, admonish one another, sing in gratitude to God, do and say all in Jesus name, thank God.

Does ‘Baptism OF the Spirit’ refer to another working within as another form of ministry and bring forth the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?

The spiritual gifts are prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leadership, and mercy, word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues, healings, helps, administration, ministry/service, giving, apostleship, evangelism, pastoral guidance, grace, willingness to face martyrdom, intercession, hospitality, celibacy.

The Fruits may be seen as our way of being our way of living, our life as ministry.

The Gifts may be seen as a more external and demonstrative form of ministry.

“Baptism of the Spirit” indicates an outward immersion into the reality of the Holy Spirit, while “filled with the Spirit” suggests an internal diffusion.

Both terms speak to the totality of receiving the Spirit.

To illustrate, if we drank water from a glass, then the water would be inside us.

However, if we went to the beach and stepped into the ocean, then we would be in the water.

The indwelling Spirit that Christians receive when they are saved reproduces the life of Jesus.

The outpoured, or baptizing, Spirit reproduces the ministry of Jesus, including miracles and healings.

Two complimentary and equal ministries serving the Kingdom in the church and the world.

Baptism ‘of’, ‘in’, or ‘by’ the Spirit can be an argument held over the smallest of words, but it is ultimately not what is important. If we read what is called for by God in our lives, if we read what is asked of us in our lives then it is to be Spirit filled people that we may live the life of God in Christ among God’s people.
Amen

StF 233 – Hymn – When Jesus came to Jordan
Click here to listen (includes introduction)

When Jesus came to Jordan
to be baptised by John,
he did not come for pardon,
but as his Father’s Son.
He came to share repentance
with all who mourn their sins,
to speak the vital sentence
with which good news begins.

He came to share temptation,
our utmost woe and loss,
for us and our salvation
to die upon the cross.
So when the Dove descended
on him, the Son of Man,
the hidden years had ended,
the age of grace began.

Come, Holy Spirit, aid us
to keep the vows we make;
this very day invade us,
and every bondage break.
Come, give our lives direction,
the gift we covet most:
to share the resurrection
that leads to Pentecost.

Fred Pratt Green (1903-2000)

Our Intercessions
Let us pray.
We hold in God’s light all across the continents who yearn for deep peace and unity.
We pray for unity throughout the world. Silence is held

We pray for our brothers and sisters in America at this time that there may be a peaceful transfer of power. Silence is held

We hold in God’s light all who live with anxiety, fear, dread or despair across our globe.
And we pray for those struggling with Covid, and those in the caring professions. Silence is held

We hold in God’s light this one fragile planet which we inhabit.
And we pray for COP 26 and for all who work for creation justice. Silence is held

We pray for justice for the poor and the persecuted.
And we pray for those suffering persecution, injustice and poverty across the globe. Silence is held
And we pray that the Prince of Peace may remind us that our task is to be His hands and hearts on this earth.
Amen

StF 372 – Hymn – Come down O love divine
Click here to listen and watch

Blessing
We go into the world as God’s beloved children.
We will go to share the gift of grace which flows from God’s heart.
We go into the world as baptized sisters and brothers of Jesus.
We will go to bring the light of hope to all in despair.
We go into the world as those filled with the Holy Spirit.
We will go to hear the whispered yearnings for peace and reconciliation.
We go in Jesus name.
Amen

Fugue in G minor BWV 578 played by Canadian Brass – JS Bach
Click here to play the music