Celebrating Our Baptism

Today we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus as well as our own baptism. If we have not been baptized it is an opportunity to think about baptism and the benefits it brings and decide on our own baptism experience.

For Jesus, baptism was a pivotal event in His life as it is in any baptized person. For Jesus, baptism did several things. It made clear His identity and at His baptism the spirit of God was poured out on Him and He was empowered to do the ministry to which He had been called. It is not clear whether or not anyone else heard the voice of God at His baptism, but it is clear that Jesus heard it proclaiming that He was God’s beloved Son. No longer was there the question lingering in His mind as to who He was. And because He knew who He was and through the empowering of the Spirit, He was able to begin His public ministry, which was completed on the cross when He proclaimed “It is finished”.

Life, and our purpose in it, is often confusing. We wonder what it is that we are to do with our lives because we have difficulty understanding our identity. When we look at our baptism and what that event does for us in life, it becomes clear that for us too, our baptism leads us to know who we are and we are able to carry out our own purpose and ministry in life. We are sons and daughters of God and we are empowered to live life and provide God’s loving service with our lives.

Therefore it is important to celebrate our baptism. Our birthdays, the day we became a part of the human family, is a most important date. We give out that date to others constantly as we share who we are whether it is as we use a credit card, check in for a prescription, board a flight and many other times. No one ever asks us for our baptism birthday. And yet, it is a very pivotal event that helps us be who we are, children of God in the world. I encourage all of you to celebrate your baptism birthday when it comes around. Remember the date, celebrate that day with friends and family.
Baptism brings with it wonderful benefits. We receive the gift of being called sons and daughters of God. We are empowered by the Spirit and we are called to public ministry.

Whenever you are in doubt or lose courage, just remember who you are and say: “I Am Baptized”.