A Baptism Meditation for the New Year

01.9.17 | Pulpit Posts

This Friday, January 6, is the Feast of the Epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we remember and celebrate the visit of the Magi to the Christ child. It is an important feast in the liturgical year, and so we will transfer our celebration of Epiphany from Friday to Sunday, January 8.

Unfortunately, that means that we will give short shrift to another traditional feast of the liturgical year, the Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ – at least on Sunday. However, we will be using the Baptism of Christ gospel lesson as the basis for our Insight worship service at 6:15 pm on Tuesday, January 10 – please consider joining us! And you might also use the story of Jesus’ baptism as a catalyst for your own personal meditation time. To that end, I offer you my version of a guided meditation that our former Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori led for a group of priests of our diocese several years ago.

Sit in a comfortable position, closing your eyes, and paying attention to your breath for a few moments. Slowly begin to imagine that you are at a river. It doesn’t have to be the Jordan river, or historically accurate in any way. What does YOUR river look like? Is is clear and calm? Shallow or deep? Wide or narrow? Is it a sunny day, or perhaps might it be a bit overcast? What does being near the river smell like? Now you become aware that there are folks wading into the river, getting baptized, and now you are being beckoned to join them. How does that feel – are you eager, or anxious, or maybe a little of both? You find yourself wading in – notice how different the water temperature feels compared to the air around you. And soon, almost before you are ready, strong but loving arms dunk you back under the water and hold you there – just for a moment, but long enough for you to feel a bit afraid. But then you are up, out of the water, taking a huge breath of new life – feel what that’s like in your lungs. And just then you hear a voice speaking clearly to you, naming you by name, and saying “YOU are my beloved child (my daughter, my son)! With you I am well-pleased!” Let yourself bask in the glow of that love, of being God’s beloved, for at least a few minutes – relaxing into the knowledge like taking a well-earned nap on a warm sunny day. And when you are ready, slowly come back to the room you are sitting in, gently opening your eyes.

May you go into 2017 with the full and deep knowledge that you are indeed God’s beloved, and New Year’s blessings to you all!

Rev. Susan Hill

Rev. Susan Hill

THE LATEST

Stay current on activity at the Soup Kitchen, guest stories, thoughts from Clergy, news and events.

Subscribe to receive the latest news, events, volunteer opportunities, and more — right to your inbox.

Church of the Holy Apostles

We are an open, inclusive Christian Church celebrating in the Episcopal tradition.

Sunday Service is held 11AM (on site and via livestream). Weekday services are held on Zoom.

LEARN MORE
For Newcomers

Learn about our faith community and explore ways to connect with our work and worship.

Sermons

Reflections on Holy Scripture from our Clergy.

History

Founded in 1844, with a focus on social activism and the desire for social justice.

Clergy, Staff & Vestry

The Vestry is the governing body of the Church of the Holy Apostles.

MUSIC

Music commands a strong presence at the Church of the Holy Apostles.

Space Rental

Host your next meeting or event in our landmark building.

Soup Kitchen & Pantry

Nourishing hungry New Yorkers since 1982 in an atmosphere of respect and hospitality.

LEARN MORE
Daily meal service

Serving a free, nutritious meal every weekday from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Meal outreach

Distributing bagged breakfasts and lunches throughout Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen.

About the soup kitchen

Learn more about our mission, our history, our performance, who we are, and what we do.

Pantry Program

Providing fresh and nutritious groceries to food-insecure New Yorkers.

Sunday Supper

Bridging generations and building community over a monthly family style meal.

Social Support

Meeting basic needs, stabilizing lives, and supporting individuals and families to achieve their goals.

LEARN MORE
SOCIAL SERVICES

Addressing the needs of the whole person through basic needs, counseling, and referrals.

Classes

Offering learning and skill-building opportunities.

Community Partnership

Partnering with others to expand the services offered to our guests.

Get Involved

Holy Apostles is a great place to channel your time, talents and generosity for good.

LEARN MORE
Volunteer

Make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and hunger.

Partner

Join our efforts to serve others and provide for people who are vulnerable.

Donate

Your gift provides food, community, and hope to New Yorkers in need.

The Latest

Stay up-to-date on all happenings at Holy Apostles.

VIEW ALL
Food For The Soul

The official blog of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.

Voices of Our Community

Guest stories, poetry, and more.

EVENTS

See our calendar of events.

Church Pulpit Posts

Read weekly meditations written by our clergy.

Newsroom

Holy Apostles in the news.