I believe that the original story of Christmas, the story of the birth of Jesus, is utterly miraculous and revolutionary. The notion that the God of the universe would literally become one of us to be with us and to save us, and the way in which we see God do this in the birth of Jesus are so amazing that it’s no wonder Christmas is such a highlight each year.
But of course, Christmas is just the beginning. In fact, it’s not even the begin. The birth of Jesus is really just the prologue or introduction to the life and work of Jesus.  Christmas is just a foreshadowing of the main events of Jesus’ life. The real beginning is the baptism of Jesus.We celebrate the baptism of Jesus every year, and we’re going to celebrate it again this Sunday, January 8th. It’s true that the celebration of Jesus’ baptism doesn’t get anywhere near the sort of attention that the celebration of his birth gets, but I believe that it’s in Jesus’ baptism that we really begin to see what it is that Jesus is all about and what it is that the Church is supposed to be all about.

According to the example and teaching of Jesus baptism is the definitive sign of the beginning of a brand-new life with God. Part of the reason Jesus himself was baptized was so that following his baptism we would see what exactly this new life with God is meant to look like. And at the end of his earthly ministry, just before he returned to the eternal presence of God the Father, Jesus told his disciples to go and baptize others. But he didn’t just tell them to baptize others. He told them to make disciples, to help others encounter Him, and to help see and experience the new life with God which Jesus makes possible.

I believe that these things form the central tasks that Jesus has given to the Church which is to make disciples, and baptism is an integral component of that work. I hope you can join us on January 8th as we celebrate not only Jesus’ baptism, and not only our own baptism, but as we celebrate and recommit ourselves to the mission and the work that Jesus has given to his Church.

Youth Update

Youth groups will resume in January on the following dates:

15 January – Senior Youth Group will meet at the home of Rev. Dan in Apohaqui at 4:00 pm
16 January – Middle School Youth Group will meet at the Bloomfield Hall
16 January – Elementary Youth Group will meet at the Bloomfield Hall


2017 01 05 St Paul’s News