Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Baptism of Christ

The calendar and lectionary invite preachers to speak on the theme, Baptism of Christ, and the RCL gospel reading is drawn from Mark 1.

Here are my key points as I prepare my sermon, working with the background of the horrific carnage unfolding in Gaza and Israel:

- in baptism Jesus Christ affirms that he is God become one of us

- through baptism Jesus begins his ministry and mission among us

- through our baptism we become one with God

- at our baptism our ministry and mission begin

- the point and purpose of creation was communion between God and humanity, including communion between human beings; disobedience to God has broken that communion; Christ came to restore communion; the conflict in Gaza and Israel (and in Iraq etc) tells us that broken communion is not an abstract concept but involves pain, horror, and suffering; the ultimate establishment of peace on earth will require more than local solutions to local injustices and conflicts - it requires the restoration of communion between God and humanity - the restoration which comes through response to the gospel of Christ - there is thus just as much urgency about baptised Christians fulfilling our ministry and mission in 2009 as ever before.

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