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Intercessions for the Baptism of Christ – Epiphany 1 Year A: 12 January 2014 by Dave Zelenka

The Collect

Eternal Father, who at the baptism of Jesus revealed him to be your Son, anointing him with the Holy Spirit: grant to us, who are born again by water and the Spirit, that we may be faithful to our calling as your adopted children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

¶ The Liturgy of the Word

First Reading: Isaiah 42.1-9

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope.” This is what God the Lord says – he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: “I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.”

Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, you powers of heaven, *ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the honour due to his name; *worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders; *the Lord is upon the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is mighty in operation; * the voice of the Lord is a glorious voice.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedar trees; * the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf * and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord splits the flash of lightning; the voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; * the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord makes the oak trees writhe and strips the forests bare; * in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!’
The Lord sits enthroned above the water flood; * the Lord sits enthroned as king for evermore.
The Lord shall give strength to his people; * the Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.

Second Reading: Acts 10.34-43

Then Peter began to speak: “I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached – how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen – by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”


Gospel Reading: Matthew 3.13-17

Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptised by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Jane Williams has this to say about today’s readings:

“Through his embrace of the symbol of baptism, Jesus wrenches all the polite fictions away from it and reveals it for what it is. This is not a superficial matter of washing away a little dirt. This is about sin, which leads to our death. As Jesus steps into the water, he accepts the cross, too, because they go together. After Jesus’s death and resurrection, we accept that too. Christian baptism is an acceptance of death, the death of all the things that create a world that is separate from God. Jesus receives our baptism and death so that we can receive his resurrection and his life. He shares our reality so that we can share his. It may be hard and painful to let go of the approximation of reality that we thought was the world, but as we step down into the waters, we hear the voice of Truth, calling us beloved and pleasing.”

Prayers of Intercession

¶The Church of Christ

Lord, come anew to your Church and, as we offer you our lives for your greater glory,  renew in us your gifts: the gold of potential, the incense of our prayers and aspirations and the myrrh of healing for our pain. Feed and nourish us as the Body of Christ so that we may grow daily more like your son. And fill us with your Spirit so that we may overflow with your love, and transform the world with your glory.

Lord, as we sing in praise and awe of your glory, let our cry come unto you: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶Creation, human society, the Sovereign and those in authority

Lord, your voice rolls over the waters and resounds through the mountains, echoing glory and splendour. Your voice divides the lightning flash and whirls the sands of the desert, the whistling sands of the desert storm. Lord, more powerful than tempest or flood, you are also the stillness in the eye of the storm. Your love embraces all the powers of creation, and in the presence of this love we need never be afraid. Give us the courage and steadiness and skill to strive with the energies you have placed in our hands, so that the earth and its people may flourish according to your will.

Lord, as we sing in praise and awe of your glory, let our cry come unto you: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶The local community

Lord, who sent your son to make all things new, renew and strengthen our communities, we pray. Help us to rise above any petty disagreements and difficulties, and help each of us to dig deep within to bring forth all that is best in us, as we seek to build up the mutual help and reinforcement we can offer each other in a virtuous spiral which has the power to make our spirits soar.

Lord, as we sing in praise and awe of your glory, let our cry come unto you: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶Those who suffer

Lord, we bring before you all those whose lives are bruised, whose hopes are quenched; all those who are in pain, whether physical or mental. In the darkest of dark nights, and the darkest of dark valleys, may they be granted a glimmer of your healing light and presence.

Lord, as we sing in praise and awe of your glory, let our cry come unto you: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

¶The communion of saints

Lord, we pray for all those whom we have loved who are now departed this life. May they rest in peace, and rise in glory. By your grace, may they and we be one in you in life everlasting.

Lord, as we sing in praise and awe of your glory, let our cry come unto you: in your mercy, hear our prayer.

The image is The Baptism of Christ by Davezelenka – see

4 comments on this post:

Pam Lovelass said...

Lovely intersessions. just put simply but with so much feeling. thank you.

Lay Anglicana said...

Thank-you very much, Pam. All encouragement greatly appreciated! (Also critical feedback where required :>)

11 January 2014 10:06
10 January 2014 18:31
Barbara Wilson said...

Hello, I’m interested in knowing who is the artist that painted the picture of the Baptism of Jesus seen above? Thank you,

Lay Anglicana said...

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. It is by Dave Zelenka and is available on wikimedia commons – by Dave Zelenka

22 April 2019 08:47
01 February 2019 00:15

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