“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’” (Mark 1:9-11) This first Sunday after Epiphany, we focus upon Jesus’ baptism (and ours). Epiphany of course is the season of the revelation of our Lord’s glory: from the Magi recognizing him with their gifts to his transfiguration when Peter, James and John recognize him (somewhat in terror!). Our text today is the very important recognition in which Jesus’ heavenly Father recognizes him and calls out his identity: “my Son, my wonderful son in whom I am so happy!” I find it fascinating that only two of the Gospels relate Jesus’ birth but all four reference his baptism; must be important it would seem to me. Indeed it is. This public recognition of the Son’s true identity is essential at the onset of his ministry. It is also true for us in that in our baptism we are all commissioned to various ministries, some serve through ordained ministry, but most do not. Yet, the essential thing happens when we follow our Lord into baptism: his identity becomes ours and the same words that the Father says about him: my child, my beloved, I am pleased with you; are now pronounced over us. When we remind one another to remember their baptism, this is essentially, what we are asking. Don’t forget who you really are: God’s beloved child who brings him pleasure. Don’t let anyone ever confer on you a different identity: this is the one that sticks! So, live into it and live out of it. Continue to accept God’s love in Christ (live into it) and continue to act like God’s beloved child (live out of it). There are scores upon scores of people who need to know what you know. I bet you know some yourself. Have a great week.