First Sunday After the Epiphany

Acts 19:1-7   Mark 1:4-11

Epiphany has dawned upon the Church and we find ourselves — either to our great discomfort or our great delight — having to grapple with the mystery of Christ Jesus in his fullness, God in flesh. The season of Epiphany is marked with these moments where we are given invitations to see Christ afresh and to behold him. From the lectionary this past Sunday we learn that he is the anointed one, the beloved, the one in whom the Father is well pleased. 

What Dave offered us in his sermon though, is that we are not removed from him because he is the Son, the Savior, and the King. Instead, he draws us into the waters that we may be immersed in the Holy Spirit, and rise again with Him as sons and daughters, prophets and followers, inheritors of the Kingdom. Which is why, quite frankly, you are going to hear more and more about Baptism around Bloom; because it is the entry way into the Church, the Body of Christ, and through it we find our true identity where the chaos of the world no longer has power over us, but instead we enter into the chaos and demand it be silenced and stilled in light of the radiant and transformative love of God.

We have had a lot of conversations on staff the past few months about Baptism specifically, and where it fits into our life together. And Bloom, the truth is — is that Baptism is the whole of it! To be baptized is to be yoked to Jesus. To be baptized is to be proclaimed as his sons and daughters, whom are only found in the Father's heart to be loved, adored, freed, and empowered. To be baptized is to be welcomed into the family of God, the faithful saints of the past, present, and the future. To be baptized is to be filled with the Spirit, so that we may know, love, worship, and serve the Lord. To be baptized is to be sent to every place and to every person with the good news that they are invited to come to the waters and discover him there waiting for them too. Bloom, may baptism in Christ Jesus become our hope, our banner, and our song and may you know today the freedom, love, and empowerment of the Spirit afresh.

Grace and Peace to you.

- Melissa

If you would like to hear the sermon from Sunday night, you can do so here.