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Epiphany 1: The Baptism of Jesus | January 10, 2021

Updated: Jan 9, 2021

Abraham by Stephen Crotts (

Reflection on the Word in our Worship

The season of Epiphany begins with the Baptism of Jesus, the beginning of his public mission. The ancient church meditated deeply on this event.

Do you see, beloved, how many and how great blessings we would have lost if the Lord had yielded to the exhortation of John and declined baptism? For the heavens had been shut before this. The region above was inaccessible. We might descend to the lower parts, but not ascend to the upper. So it happened not only that the Lord was being baptized—he also was making new the old creation. He was bringing the alienated under the scepter of adoption. For straightway “the heavens were opened to him.” A reconciliation took place between the visible and the invisible. The celestial orders were filled with joy, the diseases of earth were healed, secret things made known, those at enmity restored to amity. For you have heard the word of the Evangelist, saying, “The heavens were opened to him,” on account of three wonders. At the baptism of Christ the Bridegroom, it was fitting that the heavenly chamber should open its glorious gates. So when the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove, and the Father’s voice spread everywhere, it was fitting that “the gates of heaven should be lifted up.”

-Hippolytus, The Discourse on the Holy Theophany 6,

The Collect for the First Sunday of Epiphany: The Baptism of Our Lord

Eternal Father, at the baptism of Jesus you revealed him to be your Son, and your Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove: Grant that we, who are born again by water and the Spirit, may be faithful as your adopted children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Word:

(Click on the links below to read Sunday's passages)

  • Old Testament Lesson: Isaiah 42:1-9

  • Psalm 89:20-29 (after the playlist below)

  • New Testament Lesson: Acts 10:34-38

  • Gospel Lesson: Mark 1:7-11

  • A downloadable Home Liturgy with Spiritual Communion follows the playlist

(click below to listen to Incarnation's Playlist)

Psalm 89:20-29

20 I have found David my servant; *

with my holy oil have I anointed him.

21 My hand shall hold him fast, *

and my arm shall strengthen him.

22 The enemy shall not be able to do him violence; *

the son of wickedness shall not hurt him.

23 I will smite his foes before his face *

and strike down those who hate him.

24 My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him, *

and in my Name shall his horn be exalted.

25 I will give him dominion over the sea, *

and with his right hand shall he rule the rivers.

26 He shall say to me, “You are my Father, *

my God, and the rock of my salvation.”

27 And I will make him my firstborn, *

higher than the kings of the earth.

28 My mercy will I keep for him for ever, *

and my covenant shall stand fast with him.

29 His seed will I make to endure for ever *

and his throne as the days of heaven.

Epiphany 1 2021
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