Greetings from Tiberias, Israel. We began today at the Jordan River with a service of Remembrance of Baptism. We read together the account of Jesus’ baptism by John in the Jordan at the beginning of his public ministry:
The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ, God’s Son, happened just as it was written about in the prophecy of Isaiah:
Look, I am sending my messenger
He will prepare your way,
a voice shouting in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way for The Lord;
make his paths straight.”
” John was in the wilderness calling for people to be baptized to show that they were changing their hearts and lives and wanted God to forgive their sins. Everyone in Judea and all the people of Jerusalem went out to the Jordan River and were being baptized by John as they confessed their sins. John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey. He announced, “One stronger than I am is coming after me. I’m not even worthy to bend over and loosen the strap of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
“About that time, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. While he was coming up out of the water, Jesus saw heaven splitting open and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down on him. And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.”
After the reading, we waded into the water. Then, we reached down and scooped the water in our hands as I said, “Remember your baptism and be thankful.” Susan then led us in expressing our thanksgiving in song as we sang “Amazing Grace.” We had the opportunity to share with the group celebrations and concerns as we closed in prayer.
This evening we had another celebration. Nathan Pedneault celebrated his eleventh birthday. The group pitched in and surprised Nathan with a birthday cake
and the gift of a shofar. We did have one condition for his gift: he can’t blow it on the bus!
We are also celebrating that Nathan, his mother, Suzanne, and his grandfather, Joe, are moving back to Fort Worth after sojourning in New Hampshire for three years!
Grace and Peace,