Church Page Banner 3
Church Page Banner 3

Weekly Bible Readings

THE BAPTISM OF OUR LORD

In Holy Baptism, the Triune God Reveals Himself and Recreates Us in His Image

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Then, as “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2), God spoke His Word: “‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Gen. 1:3). In the same way, “the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Mark 1:1) brings about the new creation through the waters of Baptism by the same Word and Spirit of God. When John the Baptist came, “proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,” Jesus also came “and was baptized by John in the Jordan” (Mark 1:4, 9). Although He had no sins of His own, He took His stand with sinners in His Baptism and took the sins and mortality of the world upon Himself. He was baptized into His own death, by which the heavens are opened and the Spirit is given to us. God the Father is well pleased with His beloved Son and raises Him from the dead. As we share His Baptism and are “united with him in a death like his” (Rom. 6:5), we also share His resurrection unto “newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).

OLD TESTAMENT  Genesis 1:1–5

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.  And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.  And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

 EPISTLE            Romans 6:1–11

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may bound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?  Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.  We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.  For one who has died has been set free from sin.  Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.  We know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.  For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.  So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

 

HOLY GOSPEL    Mark 1:4–11

John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.  Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey.  And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.  I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opening and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.  And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”