Dear St. Lukers,
If you have been a St. Luker for a while at least one or more of these will look familiar to you. Each of them represents one of the Baptism Reaffirmation tokens we give away on this Sunday every year. I remember one year in 2008 or 2009 when someone decided to not give anything away…wow, that was a mistake! This Sunday has come to be one of the high marks of the year for St. Lukers when we come to the waters again and remember the promises and blessings God showers us with in our baptism.
Speaking of showers, did you know that the history of baby showers dates back to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians that would prepare to welcome the new baby just days after the baby was born in order to celebrate new life? In the Middle Ages, showers became associated with God’s worth in the baby’s life and baptisms of children were held just one day after the birth in order to claim the child as God’s own. During this time, the mother was never there having to be sequestered for 40 days after labor. This is where God parents began to stand in for the spiritual guidance and nurturing of the baby and took a prominent role in the baptism. It wasn’t until much later in the 19th century that showers became about bringing gifts in a parasol to “shower’ the new mother with help and items of support.
Now why am I telling you this? Because this year we are invited to God’s Shower for the blessing of new life in a new year! Last week in worship we celebrated God moving into the neighborhood with a housewarming party for the young Jesus. This week we head with Jesus to the water’s edge for baptism and celebrate the new life we have been given through water and the Spirit. I encourage you to read all of the lectionary Scriptures for this Baptism of the Lord Sunday in Epiphany. Each offers a different depth to our baptism, including the gospel reading in Luke which has a different take on the actual event. In fact, you can read one each day between now and Sunday, using it as a prompt for your spiritual prayer and preparation to come to the waters.
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 43:1-7
Psalter: Psalm 29
Epistle Reading: Acts 8: 14-17
Gospel Reading: Luke 3: 15-17, 21-22
And don’t worry…as you come to participate in our celebration of new life in a new year, touching the water and reaffirming the promises God made at your baptism, you will find we have something very different to give to you this year. Make sure you come, you won’t want to miss this special Sunday in the life of St. Lukes. (Haven’t been baptized before and want to know more, click here to email one of the pastors and you can be baptized for the first time this Sunday.)
Another exciting moment connected to our baptism is when as young people we move through Confirmation and claim the vows made at our baptism as our own, professing our faith and joining the church. Confirmation for eighth grade and up begins at the end of this month. If you are active in St. Luke’s and would like your young person to make a journey of Discovery with us on Sunday nights, beginning on January 27 from 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., click here for more information and to register. There will be a youth and parent meeting on Sunday, January 20 right after 11:00 worship in the Youth Center. Wondering about the confirmation process yourself as a parent? We will have an adult confirmation information class happening at the same time for parents and family members to learn alongside and be able to support your student.
See you Sunday as we gather at the water’s edge! May you be showered with blessings as you prepare to join us in worship!
Grace and peace,