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Sunday Scripture Reflection: Mark 1:4-11

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

On this First Sunday after the day of Epiphany, we hear the opening words of the Gospel according to Mark. As we celebrate the Baptism of our Lord, we will explore our own Baptism and reflect on how we gain new life in Christ and the promise of God's redemption and renewal.

Our Scripture passage is found in the Gospel according to Mark. You may find the Scripture lesson by selecting the following link: (Mark 1:4-11).

For continuing study, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below):

  • For a deeper reflection on the Baptism of Jesus, after reading the Scripture assigned for today in the Gospel according to Mark; read the account of the Jesus' baptism in the other Gospel accounts and compare: Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 3:21-22; and John 1:29-34.

  • After reading the "WHAT..." paragraph in the guide below, reflect on the experience of Jesus' followers slowly getting to know his mission and ministry in the world; and imagine some of the reasons why they were only able to gradually come to know Jesus.

  • After reading the "WHERE..." paragraph, answer the following: what do you believe was the purpose of Jesus' baptism? What role did the Holy Spirit play in the baptism of Jesus? In what way is the empowerment of the Holy Spirit connected to Jesus' ministry and how does the Spirit sustain Jesus during his prolonged "suffering obedience?"

  • After reading the "SO WHAT..." paragraph below, reflect on the statement that "the ministry of Jesus is the beginning of the eschatological reign of God." Note: the term "eschatological" means "the end time" or "the Second Advent" when all things will be put in subjection to Christ and brought to their fulness and completion in God's eternal glory. There is a lot to this, just think about a few aspects of how Jesus' mission was to bring about the things that God hopes to see for eternity.

  • After reading the "NOW WHAT..." paragraph below, spend some time reflecting on the imagery of "the heavens being torn open" and think about ways in which you see "the heavens torn open" during your daily life...imagining that events that bring us close to God are also events that occur as the "heavens are torn open."

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