Baptized into the Spirit

Sunday, January 7, 2018 | Epiphany
Baptism of the Lord
First Sunday After the Epiphany
Year B

Genesis 1:1-5
Acts 19:1-7
Mark 1:4-11

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Doubtless in Paul’s mind they were not re-baptized but baptized into Christ once and for all.

John himself, pointed to beyond himself, to Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Baptism with water of  forgiveness is a part of our baptism today, but it is the Holy Spirit that makes the baptism complete.

Paul helps those in Ephesus to gain a more fuller picture of the baptism into Christ, and then proceeds to complete their baptism into Christ and the Holy Spirit.

When they are baptized into the Spirit, they began to prophecy.  Prophecy does not have to be about the future, we often get hung up on that, but it is actually to speak about the present, in God’s name and God’s work in the world.  All of this, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Something is missing in the English translation of Mark here.  It was left out completely.  At the beginning of the passage, in Greek it says, “It came to pass”.  That statement is like saying “Tada”  It says, pay attention to what is about to be said.

John is baptizing a baptism of repentance and he points to something more, he points to the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit, Jesus.  John baptizes Jesus and the heaven are TORN apart and the HOLY SPIRIT descends upon Jesus.

Upon the baptism of Jesus we now see, hear and in our baptisms, experience the Holy Spirit not as a promise of something in the future, but a promise of here and now.

It is in the Holy Spirit, we are all made new.  We are transformed into a new self, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit, transformational not only for us but by the awesome power of the Holy Spirit, it becomes world-transforming.  You might even say there is a dangerous power in the Holy Spirit.  It changes, it transforms, it turns things right side up, it makes the weak strong, it makes the strong weak, it is TRANSFORMATIONAL!!!

The Spirit draws each of the believers into an eschatological event through the pouring of the Spirit out upon the world, today and towards the end times when Jesus comes back again, to claim His world, once and for all.

It sounds scary, but we can count on the promises of God in Jesus Christ.  Allow the Holy Spirit to work, let it drive you out and do God’s work, because the Spirit will be there with you.

Just like after Jesus’ baptism, Jesus was driven out into the wilderness where he faced temptations, but the Holy Spirit was there to comfort and guide.  We too face temptations in this world, but in our baptisms, the Holy Spirit has come to us to comfort, guide and protect us.

Today we get to partake in two baptisms and invite the Holy Spirit to take hold of Carli and Justin.  Come Holy Spirit, come!

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