[We observed “Baptism of the Lord Sunday” by celebrating a baptism and participating in a baptism renewal. It was a time to renew our faith by coming forward to the baptism font to touch the water and take a smooth stone from the bowl as a reminder of God’s renewing presence in our lives. See picture above. The video below is a group of people in our church singing, “A Wonderful Time Up There” which was one of the top songs in 1957 when our church building was dedicated. Even though Athens County was under a Level 2 snow emergency and we needed to have one combined 10:30 worship service, the presence of the Lord was in this place. For the sermon, click here.]
O God, we have gathered at the river even on this cold and snowy winter morning. Thank you for meeting us here by the river and for our baptism font that is a symbol of new life in Christ, the presence of your Holy Spirit in our lives, the cleansing water of baptism, and the forgiveness of sins.
Thank you for Vicky’s baptism and for her renewed journey of faith. We have gathered with her here at the river and have offered to you our aching hearts, our questions, and our expectations. We have gathered here at the river to be renewed in our faith, and to remember our baptisms.
Thank you for your Holy Spirit which always hovers over the waters of baptism offering to us new life, new possibilities, and new joys. We are so blessed to be part of your family here at Athens First.
You have claimed us as your own and you have given us the name, “beloved.” Thank you for reminding us of who we are and whose we are on this special Sunday of the year when we remember Jesus’ baptism and the beginning of his ministry.
And as your baptized community of faith, lead us to serve in his name. Lead us to be the people you have called us to be. Lead us to have a loving faith, a learning faith, and a living faith.
We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, who taught us to pray together saying…
“Our Father, who art in heaven…”