Today’s festival rejoices in God’s blessings. We recall and celebrate our adoption as God’s children, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the promised company of almighty God when we “pass through the waters . . . the rivers . . . fire.” On this day the heavens open again for this assembly, and we receive the gift of God’s Beloved, Jesus, in bread and wine.
Click on either the picture above or the following link to access the Jan 9, 2022 Live-Stream Worship Service:
The Lessons: (Link to the Readings)
First Reading: Isaiah 43:1-7
Near the end of Israel’s exile in Babylon, God promises to bring the people home. They need no longer be afraid, because the one who formed, created, and called them by name now redeems them from all their enemies. God declares them precious and honored, and God loves them.
Psalm: Psalm 29
The voice of the LORD is upon the waters. (Ps. 29:3)
Second Reading: Acts 8:14-17
Peter and John are sent to support the new Christians in Samaria, a group that was recently baptized after hearing the good news of Christ through the preaching of Philip. Here the Samaritans receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in the laying on of hands.
Gospel: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
The reading opens with questions about the identity of the Messiah. John the Baptist insists that he is not the Messiah; instead, he points ahead to one who is coming. And whether the voice of God was heard by all or only by Jesus, God settles the matter: Jesus is God’s beloved Son.
Almighty God, you anointed Jesus at his baptism with the Holy Spirit and revealed him as your beloved Son. Keep all who are born of water and the Spirit faithful in your service, that we may rejoice to be called children of God, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.