In 2012 I will plan to preach more often on the gospel readings of the lectionary. I want to be able to teach the doctrines of the Christian Faith through sharing the life of Christ. I remember a classmate of mine from the seminary, Jeremy Gorline, said he spent one year just preaching from the Gospel lesson. He said it sounds like common sense and easy until you start hitting some of those texts that challenge us.
Jesus in the Scriptures is not always the same Jesus that we have constructed for ourselves. When we get challenged by the truth of Scripture it may feel easier for me to skip over to the Old Testament or Epistle lesson.
So on January 8 at St. Paul Lutheran Church we will celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus. The Gospel Lesson is 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 being torn open 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.”
(Mark 1:4-11 ESV)
How in this text do you find the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at work in bringing about your salvation?
God is united in his purposes for you.