As we celebrate the baptism of Jesus this week, Bishop Ward reminds us that as we remember our baptism, God speaks over us, as he did to Jesus – “You are my beloved. In you, I am well-pleased.”
Remember your baptism and give thanks.
In this season, early in the year, we celebrate the baptism of the Lord. As Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by John, the heavens opened and a dove descended, and the voice of God could be heard – “You are my beloved. In you, I am well-pleased.”
When we celebrate baptism in our congregations or services of baptismal renewal, particularly at this time of the year, we hear that voice of God speaking over all who are baptized. God is saying, “You are my beloved. In you, I am well-pleased.”
These words were spoken by God at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry, before Jesus had multiplied food on a hillside, before people had been healed, before any of the miracles had been accomplished, before any of the parables had been shared.
God loves us. We are God’s good creation. In this week, we are gathering in Circles of Abundant Grace. We are having conversations with one another. We are speaking out of our hearts. We are doing so because we are God’s beloved. We know in baptism, God has called us beloved and we call all people created by God “beloved.”
In this week, let us pray for a renewed sense of our participation with all God’s people in the glorious work of the Church. Let us remember God’s wide welcome to every soul, to every person. Let us extend our arms toward one another, calling one another beloved brothers and sisters.
Thank you for your prayers for this very important week in the life of our annual conference as we gather across eight districts and have good conversations together out of the heart, listening well, advancing our life together.