SERMON OF THE WEEK
January 6, 2013
Next Sunday, January 6, is the celebration of the baptism of Jesus. It is the beginning of Jesus' public ministry.
John the Baptist bears witness to this episode. He preached "baptism with water" as a penance for the remission of sins, and declared himself a forerunner to one who would be baptized by the Holy Spirit. In so doing he was preparing the way for Jesus.
Before Jesus began his ministry, John the Baptist has been announcing to the people of Israel to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. He was calling on them to repent, turn from their sins and be baptized for the remission of their sins.
Jesus came to the Jordan river to be baptized. The baptism scene includes the Heavens opening up and the Holy Spirit, like a dove, descent and the voice from the Heaven saying, "This is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased."
The baptism is one of the five major milestones in the gospel narrative of the life of Jesus, the others being, Transfiguration, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension.
The Christian community views this baptism as an important event and a basis for the Christian rite of baptism.
In Eastern Christianity, Jesus' baptism is commemorated on January 6th, the feast of Epiphany.
Prepared by Rev. Dr. V Kurian Thomas, Valiyaparambil