Reflection on the Word in our Worship
From Transfiguration to temptation, those are our Sunday steps from Epiphany into Lent. From Jesus' glory manifest and his passion predicted to the quiet triumph of his obedient trust during his temptation in the desert. This is the prelude to his complete victory on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. And prior to this prelude is Jesus' Baptism in the Jordan with the Father's declaration over His Son and the Sprit's visible presence "like a dove."
This is one of the great ‘trinitarian’ passages of the New Testament. Here the Spirit and the Father both bear witness to the Son. As in the book of Genesis God created by his word and through the Spirit (Gen. 1:2–3), so it was fitting that, at the very commencement of God’s new work of re-creation, there would be the same operation of the whole Godhead. Here, on Jordan’s banks, God speaks his word again, and again the Spirit is brooding over the waters, as in Genesis (Gen. 1:2). Mark does not say that the Spirit descended on Jesus only at his baptism, however, still less that he only then became the Son of God. Mark is clear that Jesus is already Messiah and God’s Son (1:1): what he is describing here is a vision that either Jesus or John had, after the baptism, as a sign confirming the existing reality of the person and status of Jesus. -R. Alan Cole
The Collect for the First Sunday in Lent
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations, and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
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3 Show me your ways, O Lord, *
and teach me your paths.
4 Lead me forth in your truth and teach me, *
for you are the God of my salvation;
in you has been my hope all the day long.
5 Call to remembrance, O Lord, your tender mercies, *
and your loving-kindnesses, which have been from of old.
6 O remember not the sins and offenses of my youth, *
but according to your mercy think on me,
O Lord, in your goodness.
7 Gracious and righteous is the Lord; *
therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
8 Those who are meek shall he guide in judgment, *
and those who are gentle shall he teach his way.
9 All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth *
to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.