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How do you know you’ve become part of a church family? [guesses…]
For me, childhood story, church took place around tables
Fellowship Meal Slide
As I grew older, something else became clear to me… invitation to follow Jesus involved more than meals, singing, prayers, and sermons….the church of my childhood took Jesus final words to the disciples to heart, ‘Go now, into all the world, and ….. [fil in the blank…?] [Shari reads Matthew 28:17-20]
Today thru/o the world commemorates the Baptism of Jesus and invites disciples of all walks of life…heed the call to baptism and to remember their baptism, with thanksgiving. Us too.
Poll the congregation about their baptism…..
Where, what age, who was with you?
As you remember let us give thanks for work of God’s Spirit wooing people to follow Jesus’ invitation to be part of a church family, with begins with baptism.
One of the ways I practice remembering my baptism, is thru making pilgrimages to the Holy Land.
Sermon slide 2 path way to…..?
Sermon Slide 3 does this image help?......
Baptismal Site in Jordan [Gospel of John, site ‘Bethany beyond the Jordan’]
UNESCO World Heritage Site – Slide 4
With these images in mind, hear now the account of Jesus baptism found the in the Gospel of Luke:
Luke 3:15–17 NRSV
As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
Luke 3:21–22 NRSV
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
The gospel accounts of the life of Jesus have served as a guide to the church since it’s earliest days. Through words, music, and pictures, artists have helped us image the scene.
Slide 5
Luke tells us that Jesus took part of John’s baptism along the all the people.
Following his baptism while Jesus was praying….something amazing happens….
Heaven opened. The Holy Spirit descended on upon him in bodily form like a dove.
And a voice from heaven proclaims, “You are my Son, the beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
Following Jesus instructions – the church in every age, culture, place, likewise.
We may disagree on the form… child, adult, font, fresh water, salt water, et al

Pastor John’s Baptism Story

How about you?

Slide Bethlehem Street Fair (Slide 6)
Everywhere the artists performed – dance, drama, Gospel stories…crowds gathered
Jerusalem Street Fair (Slide 7)
Final day, an act of worship, reaffirmation of baptism vows
Slide 8

Reaffirmation of Baptism

Pastor John & Shari co-officiate

Affirmation of Faith

The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith, sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor, and binds us together with all believers in the one body of Christ, the Church.
The same Spirit who inspired the prophets and apostles rules our faith and life in Christ through Scripture, engages us through the Word proclaimed, claims us in the waters of baptism, feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation, and calls women and men to all ministries of the Church.
In a broken and fearful world, the Spirit gives us courage to pray without ceasing, to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior, to unmask idolatries in Church and culture, to hear the voices of peoples long silenced, and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.
In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit, we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks and to live holy and joyful lives, even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth, praying, “Come, Lord Jesus!” With believers in every time and place, we rejoice that nothing in life or in death can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Remembering Your Baptism

Shari Closes the sermon and response with a prayer.
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