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Baptism and Identity
Matthew 3:13 - 17
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan,
to be baptized by him. John would have prevented
him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do
you come to me?’
But Jesus
answered him,
‘Let it be so now;
for it is proper for
us in this way to
fulfil all
righteousness.’
Then he
consented.
And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came
up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened
to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a
dove and alighting on him.
And a voice from
heaven said, ‘This
is my Son, the
Beloved,* with
whom I am well
pleased.’
Sources
I’m going to be relying pretty heavily on Rowan
Williams (ex-Archbishop of Canterbury)’s
excellent book Being Christian. Read it!
Question
Why was Jesus
baptised?
Why is it important to
me?
Baptized into Christ
Do you not know that all
of us who have been
baptized into Christ
Jesus were baptized
into his death?
Romans 6:3
I have a baptism with
which to be baptized,
and what stress I am
under until it is
completed!
Luke 12:50
Baptism
Did your baptism give you a new identity? If so, what
is it?
Baptism
“From the very beginning, baptism… was
associated with the idea of going down into
the darkness of Jesus’ suffering… we are,
so to speak, ‘dropped’ into that mysterious
event which Christians commemorate on
Good Friday, and, more regularly, in the
breaking of bread at Holy Communion.
Identity Point 1
• Baptism is baptism “into Jesus.”
• Like Jesus, when you come out of the water,
God says to you “you are my daughter or son”
In the beginning when
God created the
heavens and the
earth, the earth was a
formless void and
darkness covered the
face of the deep,
while a wind from
God* swept over the
face of the waters.
Then God said, ‘Let
there be light’; and
there was light. And
God saw that the light
was good
Genesis 1:1-4
Baptism as New Creation
“The water and the
Spirit and the voice: you
can see why the early
Christians began to
associate the event of
baptism with exactly
that image which St
Paul uses for the
Christian life – new
creation” Williams Being
Christian
Identity
Where do you get your
sense of identity – or
identities – from?
Who are you?
Restored Identity
“[God] intended that human
beings should grow into
such love for him and such
confidence in him that they
could rightly be called God’s
sons and daughters….
Jesus restores humanity
‘from within’… has to come
down fully to our level
where things are shapeless
and meaningless… if real
humanity is to come to birth”
Rowan Williams Being
Christian
Given that Jesus recreates us out of
chaos, baptised people can be
expected t:
1. Be found in the neighbourhood of
chaos
2. In touch with the chaos of our own
lives
[Baptism] is not to claim… a sort of privilege
that keeps you separate from and superior
to the rest of the human race, but to claim a
new level of solidarity with other people…. to
be affected by the mess of humanity… not a
convocation of those who are privileged,
elite, and separate, but of those who have
accepted what it means to be in the heart of
a needy, contaminated, messy world…. You
don’t go down into the waters of the Jordan
without stirring up a great deal of mud!
Rowan Williams Being Christian
Question
Has it been your
experience that
Christians are “found in
the neighbourhood of
chaos”?
Are they (we!)
comfortable with their
own chaos?
Open to God
“The baptized person is not only in the
middle of human suffering…but in the
middle of the love and delight of the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Spirit…. Because
Jesus has taken his stand right in th emiddle
of those two realities, that is wehre we take
ours…. ‘Where I am, there will my servant
be also’ (John 12:26)
Rowan Williams Being Christian
Prayer
“The prayer of baptised people is a growing
and moving into the prayer of Jesus himself
and therefore it is a prayer that may often be
difficult and mysterious. It will not always be
cheerful and clear, and ti may not always
feel as though it is going to be answered….
Christians pray because the haveto,
because the Spirit is surging up inside
them.”
Rowan Williams Being Christian
Question
So what do you reckon?
Solidarity
The solidarity that
baptism brings us
into, the solidarity
with suffering, is a
solidarity with one
another as well.
That is to say: the
church.
Question
Do you have an
example of a time
where you experienced
good (or poor) levels of
solidarity from a church
Summary
So baptism
• restores human identity
• Takes us where Jesus is – solidarity with
a suffering world and others who believe
• Characterised by a prayerfulness that
keeps going even when it seems
pointless
Theme of Identity
Jesus has just heard
the powerful
affirmation from God
about his identity as
The Beloved
When the Devil
tempts Jesus, he
responds with words
of Scripture – words
which re-assert his
identity as coming
from God.
Go in peace;
may you carry God’s Wisdom,
speak forth God’s Word,
and embody God’s Presence
wherever you are.
In the name of Christ. Amen.
Blessing
The grace of Christ attend you;
the love of God surround you;
the Holy Spirit keep you;
this day and for ever. Amen.
Baptism and Identity

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Baptism and Identity

  • 2. Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’
  • 3. But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfil all righteousness.’ Then he consented.
  • 4. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.
  • 5. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved,* with whom I am well pleased.’
  • 6. Sources I’m going to be relying pretty heavily on Rowan Williams (ex-Archbishop of Canterbury)’s excellent book Being Christian. Read it!
  • 7. Question Why was Jesus baptised? Why is it important to me?
  • 8. Baptized into Christ Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Romans 6:3 I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Luke 12:50
  • 9. Baptism Did your baptism give you a new identity? If so, what is it?
  • 10. Baptism “From the very beginning, baptism… was associated with the idea of going down into the darkness of Jesus’ suffering… we are, so to speak, ‘dropped’ into that mysterious event which Christians commemorate on Good Friday, and, more regularly, in the breaking of bread at Holy Communion.
  • 11. Identity Point 1 • Baptism is baptism “into Jesus.” • Like Jesus, when you come out of the water, God says to you “you are my daughter or son”
  • 12. In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God* swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good Genesis 1:1-4
  • 13. Baptism as New Creation “The water and the Spirit and the voice: you can see why the early Christians began to associate the event of baptism with exactly that image which St Paul uses for the Christian life – new creation” Williams Being Christian
  • 14. Identity Where do you get your sense of identity – or identities – from? Who are you?
  • 15. Restored Identity “[God] intended that human beings should grow into such love for him and such confidence in him that they could rightly be called God’s sons and daughters…. Jesus restores humanity ‘from within’… has to come down fully to our level where things are shapeless and meaningless… if real humanity is to come to birth” Rowan Williams Being Christian
  • 16. Given that Jesus recreates us out of chaos, baptised people can be expected t: 1. Be found in the neighbourhood of chaos 2. In touch with the chaos of our own lives
  • 17. [Baptism] is not to claim… a sort of privilege that keeps you separate from and superior to the rest of the human race, but to claim a new level of solidarity with other people…. to be affected by the mess of humanity… not a convocation of those who are privileged, elite, and separate, but of those who have accepted what it means to be in the heart of a needy, contaminated, messy world…. You don’t go down into the waters of the Jordan without stirring up a great deal of mud! Rowan Williams Being Christian
  • 18. Question Has it been your experience that Christians are “found in the neighbourhood of chaos”? Are they (we!) comfortable with their own chaos?
  • 19. Open to God “The baptized person is not only in the middle of human suffering…but in the middle of the love and delight of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…. Because Jesus has taken his stand right in th emiddle of those two realities, that is wehre we take ours…. ‘Where I am, there will my servant be also’ (John 12:26) Rowan Williams Being Christian
  • 20. Prayer “The prayer of baptised people is a growing and moving into the prayer of Jesus himself and therefore it is a prayer that may often be difficult and mysterious. It will not always be cheerful and clear, and ti may not always feel as though it is going to be answered…. Christians pray because the haveto, because the Spirit is surging up inside them.” Rowan Williams Being Christian
  • 21. Question So what do you reckon?
  • 22. Solidarity The solidarity that baptism brings us into, the solidarity with suffering, is a solidarity with one another as well. That is to say: the church.
  • 23. Question Do you have an example of a time where you experienced good (or poor) levels of solidarity from a church
  • 24. Summary So baptism • restores human identity • Takes us where Jesus is – solidarity with a suffering world and others who believe • Characterised by a prayerfulness that keeps going even when it seems pointless
  • 25. Theme of Identity Jesus has just heard the powerful affirmation from God about his identity as The Beloved When the Devil tempts Jesus, he responds with words of Scripture – words which re-assert his identity as coming from God.
  • 26. Go in peace; may you carry God’s Wisdom, speak forth God’s Word, and embody God’s Presence wherever you are. In the name of Christ. Amen.
  • 27. Blessing The grace of Christ attend you; the love of God surround you; the Holy Spirit keep you; this day and for ever. Amen.