Baptism of Our Lord Sunday sermon ideas

Found in Matthew 3:17, this Sunday marks and remembers one of the most theologically profound events in the gospels, the baptism of Jesus. In this narrative, God announces the divine sonship of Jesus Christ and we bear witness to the picture of the Trinity, when God the Father gifts the Holy Spirit to his son, Jesus Christ.

How do I plan a Baptism of Our Lord worship service?

See also Baptism

Christ's baptism is often marked as the start of Christ's ministry, a critical element of the narrative from the manger to the cross. It is in this event that God says "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased," marking the divinity of Christ and anointing Jesus with the Holy Spirit. Jesus' baptism shows not only Christ's identity as God's Son and chosen one to the disciples, but our own baptismal identity. This is also one of the seminal texts in showing the powerful activity of the triune God—Father, Son, and Spirit. By marking this day, we remember not only that Jesus Christ was chosen and anointed by God, but are also called to remember that God has anointed us, in our baptisms, to be disciples.

When is Baptism of Our Lord Sunday?

This Sunday's exact date differs year to year, but always takes place on the first Sunday after Epiphany, which always occurs on January 6.

What colors do we use for Baptism of Our Lord Sunday?

We use white, the color of purity, remembering how baptism washes away our sin.

What objects or symbols do we use for Baptism of Our Lord Sunday?

What themes do we use for Baptism of Our Lord Sunday?

Bible passage ideas for Baptism of Our Lord Sunday

Jesus is baptized

This service could point to Jesus' baptism as the beginning of his ministry and how our baptisms are likewise the beginning of our ministry in faithfulness to Christ into the world. While Easter is traditionally a Sunday of baptism, this would also be an appropriate liturgical time to baptize members of the body in either infant baptism or believer's baptism traditions.

A baptism for all

Another crucial element in celebrating the Baptism of our Lord is the reminder of our participation in Christ's baptism. Just as the Spirit descended in Christ's baptism with God's declaration that Christ is God's beloved son, so too in our baptism the Spirit descends and we, by adoption, are declared God's beloved children as we participate in Christ's death and resurrection. This could be connected with Paul's expositions in Romans 6:3–4 ("Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.") and Colossians 2:12 ("When you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.").

Voice of God

The voice of God is heard throughout all of scripture, but in an especially poignant way here when God declares, "This is my beloved son." In this declaration, we too, as baptized children of God, hear of God's love for us.

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