First Reading Isaiah 40: 1-5, 9-11
“Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God.
2 “Speak kindly to Jerusalem;
And call out to her, that her service has ended,
That her iniquity has been removed,
That she has received of the Lord’s hand
Double for all her sins.”
3 A voice is calling,
“Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness;
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.
4 “Let every valley be lifted up,
And every mountain and hill be made low;
And let the rough ground become a plain,
And the rugged terrain a broad valley;
5 Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
And all flesh will see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Go up onto a high mountain,
Zion, herald of good news!
Cry out at the top of your voice,
Jerusalem, herald of good news!
Cry out, do not fear!
Say to the cities of Judah:
Here is your God!
10 Here comes with power
the Lord God,
who rules by his strong arm;
Here is his reward with him,
his recompense before him.
11 Like a shepherd he feeds his flock;
in his arms he gathers the lambs,
Carrying them in his bosom,
leading the ewes with care.
Psalm 104: 1-4, 24-30
Bless the Lord, my soul!
Lord, my God, you are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and splendor,
2 robed in light as with a cloak.
You spread out the heavens like a tent;
3 setting the beams of your chambers upon the waters.
You make the clouds your chariot;
traveling on the wings of the wind.
4 You make the winds your messengers;
flaming fire, your ministers.
24 How manifold are your works, Lord!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, great and wide!
It teems with countless beings,
living things both large and small.
26 There ships ply their course
and Leviathan, whom you formed to play with.
27 All of these look to you
to give them food in due time.
28 When you give it to them, they gather;
when you open your hand, they are well filled.
29 When you hide your face, they panic.
Take away their breath, they perish
and return to the dust.
30 Send forth your spirit, they are created
and you renew the face of the earth.
Second Reading Titus 2: 11-14, 3: 4-7
11 For the grace of God has appeared, saving all 12 and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, 13 as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good.
4 But when the kindness and generous love
of God our savior appeared,
5 not because of any righteous deeds we had done
but because of his mercy,
he saved us through the bath of rebirth
and renewal by the holy Spirit,
6 whom he richly poured out on us
through Jesus Christ our savior,
7 so that we might be justified by his grace
and become heirs in hope of eternal life.
Gospel Luke 3: 15-16, 21-22
15The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
21When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Meditation – The Many Baptisms of Life by Mactep Teoprhh (edited for space)
When an adult chooses to be baptized, what are they hoping for? What thirst took them to those waters? I wonder if there were parts of their life that needed to go, needed to drown and die, so that something new could arise.
I remember a trip down the Frio River with friends and we came to a water fall where the water comes over the rocks like a curtain, and you can get behind the water in the hollow of the rock. We sat back there, the three of us with our arms around one another laughing and splashing. I don’t think we had ever smiled that big before. We were being baptized into each others lives.
I remember standing here in this church the day I married my son and his wife, and I remember the day we buried him, and how those experiences in such different ways baptized me into being a dad in ways I could never have imagined.
And I think about the people that have called me or come to my office and said, “Can I talk to you about my life?” And every one of them baptized my priesthood in the waters of their life, inviting me to be more myself with them. And I often return to that day, long ago, when I called my priest and said, “My life is a mess and I don’t know what to do.” I sat in his office and he baptized me into the truth of my pain and my brokenness and into a different way of living.
I can’t count the number of times that the waters of baptism flowed out of my eyes and down my cheeks as I once again realized how real life is, how beautiful it is, and how fragile and painful it can be. Every one of those was a baptism. Every one of those was an experience in which I opened myself or the world opened to me, and my life was deepened and I was awakened. I was enlarged and forever changed. Those baptism were as real, holy, and life giving as that day a priest poured water over my head in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
What if we began to look at the people in our lives, our relationships, our experiences as baptismal water? How might God be enlarging, awakening, transforming, or deepening your life?
Prayers of the Faithful 1-13-19 Baptism of the Lord.
Priest: The love of God our Savior has appeared among us. Let us offer our prayers to God, not trusting in our own good deeds, but God’s love for all people saying, “Lord hear our prayer.” (Response)
Reader: For Holy Trinity and all of CACINA: that we may recognize we have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit and sent to share God’s Good News with others, we pray to the Lord. (Response)
For understanding: that we may learn from Jesus how to be fully human and place all of our gifts and talents into God’s service, we pray to the Lord. (Response)
For the human family: that we may recognize as sisters and brothers all who seek to serve God and renounce all forms of discrimination and prejudice, we pray to the Lord. (Response)
For a renewal of the gift of the Holy Spirit: that God will stir up the gift of Spirit within us, make us strong in our faith and dynamic in love, we pray to the Lord. (Response)
For a deepening of prayer in our lives: that, like Jesus, we may grow in our relationship with God through prayer and listening, we pray to the Lord. (Response)
For all who have responded to God’s call to ministry: that God will strengthen them, make fruitful their service, and empower them with the Holy Spirit, we pray to the Lord. (Response)
For all who are in need of a shepherd’s care, for refugees, the ill, those unjustly detained and those who lack heat or food: that many people will reach out to them, we pray to the Lord. (Response)
For all victims of abuse and their abusers: that they may hear God’s affirmation that they are beloved and experience healing for their bodies, minds, and spirits, we pray to the Lord. (Response)
For a new dawning of peace: that those who strive for peace may not tire and that God will open new opportunities for us to recognize the good in one another, we pray to the Lord. (Response)
For all who have asked for our prayers, especially: Serena Rush, Elaine Rosen, Kevin Long, Rob Southard, Katie Boulware, Bishop Carl and Mark, Myles, Meryl, Nicole Lamb, Joy DeSalis, Chad Davis, Leona Franklin, Walter Berry, Ben & Stacie Tolen, Denise Borgatti, Richard Harrell and Renee Starret, Janet Decker, Amanda Pittmon, Delores Deal, Darrell Williams, Harold Deitrick, Fr. Michael Dakotah, Ted Marshall, and Fr. Dante’s sister, we pray to the Lord. (Response)
For the intentions of Mary Vavrina, we pray to the Lord. (Response)
Please add any intentions you have now (Pause……………………….) And for all our unspoken intentions, we pray to the Lord. (Response)
Priest: May God’s blessing come upon this New Year, may the Spirit’s flame glow brightly within us, and may we find new desire to share the goodness of God, we pray in the name of Jesus our Lord. AMEN.
Lord, Send your light upon all who read this and upon all your family. May they continue to enjoy your favor And devote themselves to doing good. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
May almighty God bless you, The Father, and the Son + and the Holy Spirit. Amen