Wesley Word-Jan. 5, 2022

Sonia Baker   -  

To go along with service on: Sunday, January 9, 2022 

Experiencing Grace

Exploring Truth

Epiphany: A Season of Signs – The Sign of Baptism

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

This Sunday is Baptism of the Lord Sunday and we will continue our Epiphany series, A Season of Signs, with the Sign of Baptism.

Jesus coming to John the Baptist to be Baptized is a sign that both authenticates and completes John’s ministry. The One for whom John has prepared the way has now come. John’s mission is complete. At the moment of Jesus’ Baptism, in the descending of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, and in the voice of the Father declaring Jesus to be His beloved Son, with whom He is well pleased, we see all three Persons of the Trinity.

Just as Jesus is Baptized, we are Baptized into Jesus and into His Body, the Church. It is far too easy for us to focus on Baptism as something we decide to do, a choice we make, for ourselves or our children. However, Baptism is not something we do, it is something God does in us. Baptism is about belonging before it is about believing.

Baptism is a symbol of Prevenient Grace. In our Baptism, God calls us and claims us before we are able to understand. We become part of the community of the Church, and we receive the Holy Spirit. In our Baptism, God declares us to be His own beloved daughters and sons, with whom He is well pleased. This is the Sign of Baptism. 

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. As you think about the text and about Baptism, what other layers of symbolism and meaning do you see?

New Testament in a Year: https://wesleyonline.org/biblereading/ 

  • January 5 Matthew 5:1-26
  • January 6 Matthew 5:27-48
  • January 7 Matthew 6:1-24
  • January 8 Matthew 6:25-7:14
  • January 9 Matthew 7:15-29
  • January 10 Matthew 8:1-17
  • January 11 Matthew 8:18-34
  • January 12 Matthew 9:1-17

Expressing Love: Family/Mission Activity

Sign of Baptism- Hold up a wedding ring (or a ring that looks like a wedding ring). What does a wedding ring mean (someone is married)? What if someone takes the ring off, are they still married (of course!)? The ring is a symbol that someone is married. 

Baptism is also a sign, like a wedding ring. When we are baptized, God claims us as his sons and daughters. We join his Church. Baptism gives us a place to belong and a place where we can begin to understand what we believe as a Christian, with God’s help.  

You may choose to share about your own baptism or baptisms of other adults/children in your family.

Announcements:

  • WOW (Worship on Wednesdays) TONIGHT at 5:30!
    • Meal, worship, small groups
  • REALLY Early Bird WOW next Wed, Jan. 12 @ 11 am
    • Brain Health for Seniors presented by Vera Stokes
    • Please call the church office at 563-263-1596 with your reservation for lunch or Barb Fick, 563-299-8895, with any questions.