Podcast Worship

Daily Prayer for 8 January 2023 (Baptism of Christ)

Listen to a service of Daily Prayer for the Festival of the Baptism of Christ, Sunday 8 January 2023 (Year A), including a reflection on the gospel reading


O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
king of the nations,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
your name is proclaimed in all the world.
As the Sun of Righteousness dawns in our hearts
anoint our lips with the seal of your Spirit
that we may witness to your gospel
and sing your praise in all the earth.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

Matthew 3.13-17

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfil all righteousness.’ Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’ 


A voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’

Every time we recite the Nicene Creed, the affirmation of faith that we use in our services of Holy Communion, we say these words: We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ … begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. In these powerful words we declare our belief that Jesus has been in a constant relationship with his Heavenly Father since the very beginning of all things. Similarly, in our carol services, we traditionally hear these words from the beginning of John’s gospel: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. he was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. Once again we are hearing of the reality of the intimate relationship that has existed between Jesus and God the Father since the beginning of time, a relationship that will continue to exist when our mortal world has ceased to be. As Jesus is baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, we join John in witnessing the moment when the voice of God affirms this relationship as his Beloved Son begins his earthly ministry.

Two thousand years after Jesus entered into the totality of the human experience we might wonder why we need to be reminded of this moment, when so many other, greater things are to take place. If this thought has occurred to you, I would urge you to reflect upon Jesus’ words to John: Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfil all righteousness.

We live in an age in which we try to do things as quickly as possible. People expend a considerable amount of energy seeking those shortcuts which will ‘make their lives easier’, that will make tasks less demanding. Such shortcuts might seem worthwhile for the more mundane matters that pre-occupy so much of our time, but they do not serve us well when it comes to matters of faith. The totality of Jesus’ earthly incarnation was foretold through the ancient mouthpieces of God, the prophets. The words of the prophets were sacred because they were messages from God to humanity. Jesus recognized their importance, something he demonstrated by insisting that he, the Son of God, should be baptised by John, just like all the others who had heard and responded to John’s message. In this humble act, and in his humble words, Jesus showed us how we should proceed in living out our calling to be faithful disciples. There are no shortcuts that will place us in the fast lane of spiritual enlightenment. The life of discipleship is one that demands our obedience, our humility and our willingness to follow the path that was trod by Jesus himself.

So often, we look for the easy way. But, the path of faith is never easy because, as we travel that path, we will encounter the snares and temptations of the devil himself. To remain true to God demands our patience and forbearance. Let us pray that we might remain steadfast in our commitment to be true to the all that our faith in God asks of us, even if we believe there might be an easier route to follow. Let us pray that we might set aside our human arrogance and trust in the guidance God gives us, rather than being tempted to take the apparently easier path, the one that will lead us into the power of evil and not righteousness.


From the rising of the sun to its setting, 
let us pray to the Lord.

That the people of God in all the world
may worship in spirit and in truth,
let us pray to the Lord.

That the Church may discover again 
that unity which is the Father’s will,
let us pray to the Lord.

That the nations of the earth
may seek after the ways that make for peace,
let us pray to the Lord.

That the whole creation, groaning in travail,
may be set free to enjoy the glorious liberty of the children of God,
let us pray to the Lord.

That all who with Christ have entered the shadow of death
may rest in peace and rise in glory,
let us pray to the Lord.

Let us commend the world, to which Christ showed the way,
to the mercy and protection of God.

Creator of the heavens,
who led the Magi by a star
to worship the Christ-child:
guide and sustain us,
that we may find our journey’s end
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Believing the promises of God,
let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

Christ the Son of God
perfect in us the image of his glory
and gladden our hearts 
with the good news of his kingdom;
and may the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.