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Ministry Title : Spirituality through the Liturgical Seasons
Article Title : (7) The Mark of Baptism
Publish Date : 09-Jan-2017
Author : The Steering Committee of the HKSKH Church Policy Paper - The Working Group for Discipleship Training

The Church celebrates the baptism of Christ on the First Sunday after Epiphany. It is to remind us that Christ was once baptized at River Jordan as the Son of God. The Orthodox Church names the day ‘Feast of Theophany’ (manifestation of God), because at the baptism of Christ the Holy Trinity appeared to mankind at the same time.

Many believers query the message of this Feast, ‘Why was sinless Jesus baptized?" We know that baptism of John the Baptist is for repentance, and the sinless Jesus is perfect man and perfect God. However, he was baptized as a man to be the role model for mankind: to enter into the sacred relationship with God through baptism. Christ's baptism sanctified water we use in baptism, symbolizing the washing away of sins. When Jesus was baptized and just came up from the water, the heavens were opened to him and the Spirit of God descended like a dove and alighted on Him. And, God the Father affirmed Jesus' identity as His Son, the Beloved. Likewise, when we are baptized, the heavens are opened to us and the Spirit of God entered into us, so we became children of God the Father. 

Therefore, the baptismal font located at the entrance of the church has an essential symbolic meaning. When we enter into the church, we make sign of the cross. This reminds us of our promises to God during baptism, as we are marked by the sign of the cross to show our rejection against the devil and all rebellion against God and submit to Christ as Lord; live out the life of being disciples.

  1. Upon entering the church for worship, if there is a baptismal font, mark sign of the cross with the Holy Water and pray. If a Baptismal font is not available, pray silently at the entrance and remind yourself the promises you made during baptism.
  2. Baptism also reminds us that we are children of God. Meditate on how you get on with the Heavenly Father, and write down how you want to be with Him in the future.
  3. The baptism of Christ revealed the awesome power of the Holy Trinity and the road of salvation to man. How can we imitate Christ and let the baptized life reveal to man God's love and renewals and changes of man’s life in Christ?