All of this helps us see Baptism as an important beginning, both for Jesus, and for us.
If you are looking for a book to explore baptism with individuals or groups, check out Journey into Baptism by Helen Barron (Candlepress, 2014). This book, which is also available digitally, would be helpful for parents and godparents, confirmands, and those seeking baptism for themselves.
The process of handing on our faith is all about experience. It is an experience of building a relationship with Jesus, lived out in community. Being formed in faith into the life of a community is not about sitting at a desk and readying a text, but growing in faith with one another in the name of Jesus.
The ancient creed outlines God’s might acts for Israel spoken at the time of offering the first fruits of the harvest is matched in this week’s readings by the simple statement from Romans, “Jesus is Lord.” Jesus responded to temptation by his own “creed” take from Deuteronomy 4:4, 8, 12: “. . . One does not live by bread alone . . . Worship the Lord our God, and serve only him. . . Do not put the lord your God to the test.”
It didn’t take long for Jacob to discover the water in the font. I merely whispered to him, “This is the baptismal font,” and allowed him to touch the water. It was no surprise that he would want to submerge his hand into the water, but I was not prepared for what would come next.
Baptism has its roots in ancient practices that preceded Christianity. Jewish rituals of purification were centered on the cleansing of the body with water. Many Jewish customs found their way into the initiation rites of the Early Church.