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Jesus leaves his hometown of Nazareth in Galilee and journeys through Samaria down into the region where John is baptizing followers. Jesus, an outsider, presents himself to be baptized by John—a process and procedure Jesus no doubt neither needed nor was required to complete. Nevertheless, Jesus experiences baptism like you...
Eternal God, make us vulnerable and willing to begin again so that we may love and forgive ourselves and others as you make each of us new though Christ. Amen.
The season of Lent is now upon us, a time of inward examination that begins on Ash Wednesday. We search ourselves and ask God to search us, so that we can follow God more completely. This examination, however, can become a cause for despair if we do not approach it with God’s everlasting mercy and faithfulness in mind. Although the Flood was a result of judgment, God also saved the faithful and established a covenant with them. The psalmist seeks to learn God’s ways, all the while realizing that he has fallen short and must rely on God’s grace. For Christians, baptism functions as a symbol of salvation and a reminder of God’s covenant faithfulness—not because the water is holy but because God is holy and merciful.
• Read Genesis 9:8-17. When in loss have you experienced a new beginning?
• Read Psalm 25:1-10. How do you remind yourself of your covenant with God?
• Read 1 Peter 3:18-22. When have you given up privilege in order to work for justice?
• Read Mark 1:9-15. When did you last hear God speak these words to you: "You are my . . . beloved; with you I am well pleased"?
Respond by posting a prayer.
"This is absolutely lovely! How I wish I had been exposed or otherwise taught this beautiful lesson exactly as it is written here when I was a child. Going on 60 years old now, I am just coming to believe the words contained in this piece. As I look back on my life now, I suspect that my feelings of unworthiness of God’s love began at a very young age. Not explicitly, by which I mean to say that I was never told that I was not worthy of God’s love and mercy, but rather implicitly, through my experiences with simple human error and a constant focus on perfection and pleasing others. I cannot express to you how beautiful this piece is to me; I can only tell you that it touches me very deeply. Thank you!" Read more about Pockets.