We have a baptism at one of the churches on Sunday - so this very short sermon is an attempt to reach a lot of people who maybe haven't been in church for a while. I'm trying to preach them Good News!
Mark 1: 9-15
You might wonder what the baptism of Jesus has in common with Lily’s baptism today.
First of all, the differences might strike you:
• Jesus’ baptism was nearly 2000 years ago.
• He was a grown adult and chose to be baptised himself, he wasn’t taken by his parents.
• The baptism happens outside, in a river, not in a church at all.
But the amazing thing that happens at Jesus’ baptism is that people hear the voice of God say to Jesus "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
This is the point at which Jesus starts living the life that God has planned – telling people what we call ‘the Good News’ – telling people that God loves them, that God’s love and care is always with them, and that they can live lives where they have a relationship with God, a relationship so close that they can call God ‘Father’.
Jesus spent the rest of his life telling people that, and his life ended with him dying on a cross to show them that God’s love would do anything for them. And finally on Easter Sunday, his followers learned that God’s love was so powerful that Jesus was alive again and that the risen Jesus would never leave them.
The followers of Jesus believed what Jesus said about God’s love. And they began baptizing people to show that God’s love could give them a whole new life. Quite soon they realized that God’s love was for everyone from the moment they were born, and so they started baptising babies.
So here we are today baptising Lily.
Because we want to thank God for her life
And we want to thank God for loving her
And we want to celebrate the fact that God’s amazing love will be with her all through her life.
God wants Lily’s life to be something amazing – a life of love and a life lived knowing that God loves her. A life just like the life that Jesus always talked about – a life of following and listening to Jesus and learning more and more about God’s love.
And as we celebrate with Lily, God wants us all to know that God’s love is there for each one of us too.
In Jesus’ name.