Prayers & Paraphrases - Baptism & Epiphany
- Below are a blessing and a scripture paraphrase from among those I have
written for the celebrations of Epiphany and the Baptism of Christ.
The full collection, including Eucharistic prefaces, prayers of
thanksgiving, declarations of grace, benedictions and paraphrases of all
the lections are now available on my website at
Feedback, critique and suggestions for improvement about any of these
offerings are always welcome.
Every blessing for the new year,
Pastor, South Yarra Community Baptist Church
COMMISSION & BENEDICTION (for the Baptism of Christ)
Go now, confident that you are Gods
precious and pleasing children.
In the face of fire or flood, trust in God and do not fear.
Accept the Word of God
and point others to the one who baptises with Spirit and fire.
And may God be your protection and your strength;
May Christ baptise you with his Holy Spirit.
And may the Spirit be with you
to empower you and give you peace.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in the territory of Judea, during the
reign of King Herod. Some time after his birth, a group of eastern
mystics turned up in Jerusalem looking for him. Where can we find the
child who has been born to be the king of the Jews? they asked. We
observed the appearance of the star that heralds his birth, and so we
have come all this way to pay our respects.
When King Herod heard this, he went berserk, and when Herod was
agitated, everybody in Jerusalem was on edge. Pulling himself together,
he called in the citys top priests and religious scholars and asked
them where abouts the Messiah was supposed to be born. They were in no
doubt: Bethlehem in Judea, they said. The prophet Micah spelt it out
Bethlehem in Judea, youre it!
Im going to put you on the map!
You will be the home town of my chosen ruler,
the one who will lead my people on the right track.
Having sorted that out, Herod met behind closed doors with the visiting
mystics and pumped them for information about exactly when the star had
first appeared. He then gave them directions to Bethlehem and sent them
on their ways, saying, Go, and leave no stone unturned until you find
the child. When youve found him, drop me a line so that I can come down
and pay my respects too.
So, having gained this information from the King, they hit the road. As
they did, they spotted the star again, the same one they had first seen
appear. Taking a line from the star, they were able to track down the
exact place where the child was. Their search was finally at an end, and
they were over the moon! They were allowed into the house and there they
saw him, a little child in the arms of his mother, Mary. Overcome with
awe, they fell to their knees in reverent wonder before the child. From
their luggage, they brought him exotic gifts of gold, and aromatic
frankincense and myrrh.
They were warned in a dream to avoid contacting Herod, so they kept a
low profile and took the back roads out of Judea as they began their
journey home to their own country.