However, we come to note the contrast between the baptism done by John the Baptist and that which Jesus would commission for his followers. We have these words in Mark's Gospel:
"John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance of the forgiveness of sins." Mk 1:4
"I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." Mk. 1:8
John's baptism had a place in preparing people to receive Jesus' message. Jesus would take baptism one step further by announcing that the Holy Spirit would be given. In the book of Acts, we discover how believers who were baptized received the Holy Spirit and how they moved forward in mission.
We can think today of how we have become empowered by the Spirit. We are able to speak boldly for Jesus. We have also received gifts by the Spirit to carry on Jesus' work in the church. I believe this is a Sunday to reflect on how on the Spirit becomes manifested in our lives.
May your worship this Sunday be a blessing for you as you focus on this sacrament of the church. You might also want to read this article by Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton of our ELCA on connecting New Year's resolutions with baptism.
Discipleship Questions for Reflection
Do you remember the date of your baptism?
What would it be like for you to remember your baptism each day as Martin Luther had suggested?
How have you experienced the power of the Holy Spirit in your life?