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Reflections: Baptism and Renewal

Acts 8:14-17

14When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Today is the second Sunday of the New Year, and the first Sunday after Epiphany. It’s a time to focus on beginnings, specifically of focusing on Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River at the beginning of His earthly ministry. As such, when we begin our respective journeys of faith with Christ, we also need to prepare ourselves by experiencing a baptismal renewal of sorts.

We become born-again, recommitted to living in faith and obedience, which motivates us to continue in our missional work, with the help, guidance, and spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit. What better time to remind ourselves of this blessed truth than at the beginning of this New Year.

Reflection Questions:

Please read and think about each question as it applies to your Christian journey with Christ.

  • What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our conversion? How do we correlate the ideas of becoming born-again and living in spiritual success?  
  • What are some ways we can focus on baptism and spiritual renewal as we begin this New Year?

Prayer:

Lord, please give us a desire to be renewed each and every day as we attempt to live for your glory. Show us the meaning of true baptism and conversion. Give us a clean heart and a mind that desires to please you, and help us follow your will. In Jesus name, Amen.