Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 31, 2019
And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17
I recently had the great privilege of preaching on the baptism of Jesus to a group of pilgrims at the Jordan River. As we gathered around these ancient and holy waters, I reminded them of one key truth, and I want to remind you of it as well: your baptism is foundational to your identity and journey of faith.
In the story of Israel, the waters of the Jordan carry with them a great significance. As N.T. Wright reminds us, “The crossing of the Jordan was the defining moment for the twelve tribes of Israel. It made them who they were: and it made the Promised Land what it was.” As a Christian, would you be so bold as to say “your baptism makes you who you are?” Likely, if you’re anything like me, this feels like a bit of a stretch! Whether you were baptized as a child or later in life, most of us tend to think of the event like an awards ceremony at school- something that was significant at the time, but has little impact or bearing on my day-to-day life. And while I understand the temptation to move on from this event, I think we do so at great cost!
Your baptism is the beginning of a life-long journey of faith. It is a pilgrimage that binds us to Christ and incorporates us into the good news of his coming Kingdom. And when we are tempted to fall away from faith, “prone to wander” as the old hymn puts it, our baptism roots us in the unshakable love of God.
During Jesus’ public ministry he faced incredible criticism, opposition, and outright rejection. Yet in the midst of this I believe he was sustained and emboldened by the Father’s words spoken over him at his baptism, “This is my son, whom I love.” As you and I go under the waters of baptism, the Lord speaks his love over us and claims us as his sons and daughters. It is a word of deep love and affection from a loving father towards his children, and if we have ears to hear, he speaks this word over us time and time again.
Today you may feel downcast and confused. You may feel forgotten or unloved, confused, hurt, or afraid. In the midst of this pain and grief, the Lord wants to draw near to you and remind you of your belovedness- that you are claimed as Christ’s own forever!
Father, remind us today and every day of your great love for us, especially in times of confusion, anxiety, and grief, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Consider a renewal of your baptismal vows (or baptism itself if you’ve never been baptized!) as a way to move closer to the Lord in faithful obedience.
The Lord wants to draw near to you and remind you of your belovedness- you are Christ’s own forever! #WisdomHunters #beloved #Jesus
5 minutes – Rachel Larson:
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