Sunday Reflection: John’s vocation was to prepare the people for Christ, and in so doing, he summarizes and fulfills the whole old covenant, a purpose of which was to point forward to Jesus.
John’s preaching and baptizing “prepare the way of the Lord” and “gives knowledge of salvation to [God’s] people by the forgiveness of their sins.” John was not that light of which he preached, but he was testifying to that light, the “dawn from on high [that] shall break upon us.” Still, John’s baptism prepared the people by calling them to repentance—a full change of life in light of the coming one, “whose sandal strap [John was] not worthy to untie,” who would come to judge the whole world and deliver his people from the hands of their enemies.
But it is baptism in the name of Jesus that delivers what John only anticipated: God’s promises to make a new covenant where the people will be given a new heart with which to love and obey him, and where he would pour out his prophetic Spirit upon all flesh.
Some Christians are sometimes accused of living as though they “have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit,” or that there is little evidence of the Spirit’s renewing, creative and sanctifying presence in their lives, even though they were baptized into the name of the Trinity. How might we draw nearer as a Church and as individuals to the fullness of life in the Spirit given to us in our baptism?
What do we most need to hear the voice of the Lord saying to us to live into the fullness of God’s purposes for us?
Rector’s Corner: 2018 Offering Envelopes are now available. If you have not yet received yours, please pick up your assigned numbered envelope and continue supporting our stewardship ministry. If you want to start tithing or pledging to our church, please talk to Shelley Novak or any member of the church committee.
Prayer Request: (2nd Week) During Advent, I sent out a note asking you to please assist us in updating our prayer list for Family and Friends. We would like to know if there is a possibility to do a mission (outreach) program. We would be grateful if you could let me know where they are and how are they doing. Please send me a short note in our church email address at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the prayer request form on this bulletin.
Annual Reports: All Ministry coordinators are requested to submit your 2017 Annual Reports on or before Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. This is in preparation for our Annual Vestry Meeting (or A.G.M.) on Feb. 25, 2018.