On Sunday we will hear the story of Jesus’ Baptism. As he came out of the Jordan River, a voice from heaven was heard to say, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
As we reflect on Jesus’ baptism we take the opportunity to reflect on our own baptisms. John practiced a baptism of repentance. Our Baptism is done in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
There is a similarity between John’s baptism and ours. In baptism we are adopted as God’s sons and daughters. That act of baptism is God’s way of saying, “You are mine. I love you. I am well pleased with you.
Baptism happens only once in a lifetime. In many instances we were infants and therefore have no personal recollection of this important event. We know it only by the remnants from that day ― a yellowing certificate, or grainy photographs.
Unlike communion, we don’t repeat this sacrament. We don’t have to repeat it, like, maybe it didn’t take the first time.
As we watch infants and adults being baptized we know that this great event happened to us. Christ commanded his church to baptize. In the Great Commission, he says, ”Go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
In this act, God claims us as His own. “You are mine!” God says.
We might not always feel that way as many other voices speak to us, but their message is false. They paint a false portrait. They do not define who we are.
Baptism is our true identity. It does not lie. It’s our deep keel. The keel is the deepest structure on a ship. It keeps the ship upright and steady. When we are buffeted by destructive messages, we must remember our baptismal identity. That is our deep keel. Baptism is our ground of origin. God pronounced everything He made as good. In baptism He has pronounced that same goodness over us.