Occasionally, we will reprint prior devotions that now reflect on the coming lectionary texts. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on January 6, 2014.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for those who show me your love in this life. May I be open to thanking those people in person as I see them this coming year. Amen.
Reading: Matthew 3: 13-17 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: This Sunday, we will celebrate Jesus' baptismal day. Jesus went to the Jordan River, asked John to baptize him, and despite John's protests, Jesus modeled for humanity that we should believe and be baptized.
In this reading and in the other readings in this week's lectionary, we hear God's voice from heaven saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." You'll hear God's voice say those words several times in scripture in the coming months as you read about Jesus' life and times on earth.
When your parents or another you love tell you they love you, they are proud of you, or they are pleased with you, doesn't it make you feel good? How does it make you feel when you hear God's voice, in the words of a baptismal service, which says God chose you and claims you as God's own?
In baptism, God says those words to us, too. God love us and is well pleased with us. And, God continually reminds us of this through other voices in our lives. Listen for those voices today. --Chad Hershberger
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