Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Matthew with St. Chad, Smethwick

1st Sunday of Epiphany - The Baptism of Christ

9 Jan 2021, 9:45 a.m.

1st Sunday of Epiphany - 10th January 2021

Readings: Genesis 1v1-5; Psalm 29; Acts 19; Mark 1v4-11

Let us pray: May the words of my mouth and thoughts and meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in thy sight O lord, our strength and our redeemer. Amen

A word from Lucy: The old testament lesson from the Book of Genesis reminds us that God created the heavens and the earth, called light into being then separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day and the darkness Night creating evening and morning, the first day, the beginning of time as we know it. The psalm is a reminder of all the ways since the beginning of time that we have seen that the word of God is powerful and wondrous. The psalm calls us to worship the Lord our God whose voice is so powerful and who is enthroned as King for ever. The psalm ends with a prayer asking the LORD to give strength to his people and to bless his people with peace! The Gospel tells us that John proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins as well as teaching the many people who came for baptism that: ‘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.’ John saw the inauguration of the ministry of the one who was to follow him when Jesus was baptised. For as Jesus came up out of the water, John and Jesus saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove before hearing a voice from heaven, declaring to Jesus, that: ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ So, what is the message I am taking from all this for me today? Our old testament and psalm readings call us to worship and pray to a most awesome and extraordinary God whose word is powerful. Our gospel and new testament readings remind us that God is working out His purposes and that if we have been baptised in the name of Jesus that we have the Holy Spirit at work within us and have been given gifts, just as those in the account today were given gifts of prophecy and speaking in tongues. However, our gifts are just as important as those we heard about today, because, whatever they are, scripture teaches that God provides many and varied gifts with all of them to be used for the benefit of the body of Christ and God’s mission to the world. Which means that you are important to the mission of God because He gave you gifts to use in His mission.

Let us pray. Heavenly Father, at the Jordan you revealed Jesus as your Son: may we recognize him as our Lord and know ourselves to be your beloved children; through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.