(between the Epiphany and the following Sunday)
FATHER in heaven, whose blessed Son took our nature upon him, and was baptized for our sake in the river Jordan: Mercifully grant that we, being born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may also be partakers of your Holy Spirit; through him whom you sent to be our Savior and Redeemer, even the same your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Isaiah 42:1-8; Psalm 29; Acts 10:34-43; Mark 1:1-12
Perhaps one of the greatest epiphanies (revelations) of Jesus as being God is in the event of his baptism: Jesus is baptized, the Father speaks in approval, and the Holy Spirit descends upon him. The Triune God – one God in three persons – is fully revealed in this brief but wonderful moment. The Psalm describes a similar scene of God’s epic majesty. And yet, making Jesus known as God is not the only purpose of this event: Jesus’ baptism marks the beginning of his ministry. This is explicitly explained by St. Peter in the reading from the book of the Acts, implicitly taught in Mark’s gospel by starting his book with this story, and prophesied by Isaiah in the Old Testament reading. And so, as the Collect prays, we also look to God’s work of adoption and grace as the beginning of our lives in Christ and partaking of the Holy Spirit. Just as Jesus was revealed to be God in his baptism, and immediately began his ministry as such, we are revealed to be Christians in our baptism, and are to begin our ministry as such!