Devotion: Use this resource at home to guide your household’s daily devotions. You can do this alone, as a couple, as a family; in the morning, during the day, or at night. Find a routine that works best for you.
Pray: Light a candle and open your devotion time with a prayer.
Jesus Christ of Spirit and fire, at your baptism you began your public ministry. Open our hearts to receive the words you came to speak. Open our lips to share your message of love with all who will hear, for the glory of Christ our Lord. Amen.
Reflect: Reflect on the key verse from Sunday’s reading.
This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’” Matthew 3:3
Study: Study the reading and consider the background.
John the Baptist was a prophet at the time of Jesus. He baptized in the Jordan River, asking people to repent for their sins. He knew Jesus was coming. He also knew that when Jesus started baptizing, it would be even more powerful. Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire.
John gathered followers, baptizing them into a life of righteous living. Religious and political leaders who arrived at the Jordan River were reprimanded for their lack of righteous living. When Jesus was baptized, his public ministry began. He helped people to understand that righteous living was necessary, not for eternal salvation, but for the well-being of the human community.
Read: Read the following daily readings to deepen your understanding of Sunday’s text. After the reading, ask the follow-up questions.
Read about prophesies that promised a Messiah from King David’s heir.
Sunday, Matthew 3:1-17, Jesus’ Baptism
Monday, Psalm 2:7-8, Psalm
Tuesday, Judges 13:1-7, The Birth of Samson
Wednesday, Isaiah 11:1-9, God’s Peaceful Kingdom
Thursday, Zechariah 3:1-10, Joshua and Satan
Friday, Numbers 31:21-24, Cleansing by Fire
Saturday, Isaiah 40:1-11, A Voice in the Wilderness
What did God promise the people? How does the story of Jesus’ baptism connect with the prophetic scripture readings?
Connect: Connect in conversation with others in your household. Discuss the following questions, or simply check in with “Highs” and “Lows.”
- What was a high point of your day? What was a low point?
- How does your community of faith honor its baptismal promises for those who are baptized?
- How do you claim God’s baptismal promises in your daily life?
- What difference does your baptism make in your life?
Do: By acting on what we learn, we make God’s word come alive. Do the following activity this week.
Visit a body of water near your home (a lake, ocean, or river). Reflect on how God’s baptismal promises show up in your life.
Bless: Close your devotion with a blessing.
You, O God, call us to turn to you daily. Open our ears to hear your word and our lives to follow you. Amen.
Copyright © 2014 Clergy Stuff.. Used and adapted with Permission. Find more at www.ClergyStuff.com. Blessing written by Pr. Chip Borgstadt. Scripture quotations from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used with permission. All rights reserved.