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Luke 3:21-22
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." (ESV)
The Lord's Baptism
Thursday after the the Baptism of our Lord
14 January 2016
In Martin Luther's hymn, "To Jordan Came the Christ our Lord" (LSB, 406), we see evidence that for him the baptism of the Christian Church was founded in the baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Jordan. Christ's action establishes all. This runs counter to modern wisdom which places the emphasis on the command to baptize (Mt 28:19). And as important as that command is, the Lord gives it for the sake of the blessings He has put into our baptism through His own baptism in Jordan. Nor is this point of view of Luther's own unique mania. He derived it from Scripture certainly, but he also shares it with the ancient church's fathers, including Leo the Great, who spoke of the purposes of the Lord's baptism in a sermon.


Leo the Great

"When the Lord came to St. John's baptism, know that the grace of that baptism and the reason of it were quite different. Christ's baptism is not on an equal footing with the power by which Christians are born again of the Holy Spirit, of whom it is said, 'which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God' (Jn 1:13). For the Lord who needed no remission of sin and sought not the remedy of being born again, desired to be baptized just as He desired to be circumcised, and to have a victim offered for His purification, that He, who had been 'made of a woman' (Gal 4:4) as the Apostle says, might become also 'under the law' which He had come, 'not to destroy but to fulfill' (Mt 5:17) and by fulfilling to end it, as the blessed Apostle proclaims, saying: 'Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes' (Rm 10:4). The sacrament of baptism Christ established in His own person. He taught that He Himself was the beginning, 'that in everything he might be preeminent' (Col 1:18). And He ratified the power of re-birth on that occasion, when from His side flowed out the blood of ransom and the water of baptism."

O Lord, You were baptized to fulfill all righteousness that my baptism might be filled full of Your blood, death, and life. Grant that I may live in my baptism, by crucifying the old man and living to You. Amen.
For all the baptized that they might repose quietly in the gift of holiness granted them in their baptisms
For marriage and family, especially for those who are planning weddings
For Memorial Lutheran School, that Headmaster Heine, faculty, and staff would be faithful to their calling as teachers and leaders in the church
Art: AERTSEN, Pieter  Adoration of the Magi (c. 1560)


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Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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