We have come to end of the 12 days of Christmas. Most of the homes have had their Christmas lights down since the weekend. We went the distance! We have attempted to push the Christmas envelope the full 12 days. And here we are at the next season of the year. I am not fully ready to let go of saying, “Christ is born!” but it is time to pack the Christmas decorations up and move on to celebrate the Lord’s baptism and what it means for us. For the Church, Jesus’ Baptism is not celebrated simply as a historical event without lasting effect. The Baptism of Christ is a Theophany. A day when we see the Father, Son and Holy Spirit revealed. It is also a day in which both the divinity and humanity of Jesus is revealed to us. When Christ, who is without sin, was Baptized by John in the Jordan it was not He who was changed. His Baptism purified the waters!The Orthodoxy Church believes that in our Baptism we put on Christ. We are buried with Christ in His death and raised up with Him in His glorious Resurrection. We are baptized for the remission of sins and raised up to new life.
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.” The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1: 9-15
When Thou, O Lord were baptized in the Jordan the worship of the Trinity was made manifest. For the voice of the Father bore witness to Thee calling Thee His beloved Son. And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, confirmed the truthfulness of His word. O Christ, our God, Who hast revealed Thyself and has enlightened the world, glory to Thee! – Troparia for Theophany