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Prayers & Paraphrases - Baptism & Epiphany

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  • Nathan Nettleton
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 31, 2000
      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,


      Nathan Nettleton
      Pastor, South Yarra Community Baptist Church
      Melbourne, Australia

      COMMISSION & BENEDICTION (for the Baptism of Christ)
      Go now, confident that you are God’s
      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.

      MATTHEW 2:1-12
      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 city’s 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
      quite clearly:
      ‘Bethlehem in Judea, you’re it!
      I’m 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 you’ve 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.
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