The Baptism of Jesus

St. John the Baptizer said, “I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” From the Gospel according to St. Mark (1:8.)

Today we are celebrating the baptism of Jesus. The baptism consisted of the washing in the river, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

St. Peter mentions this in Acts 10:38: God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit.

The Sacrament of Confirmation is the completion of the Sacrament of Baptism and involves the Holy Spirit:

The Bishop uses these words in the Sacrament of Confirmation:
“Strengthen, O Lord, with your Holy Spirit, your servant N.; empower him for your service; and sustain him all the days of his life. (2019 BCP, p. 178)

The Holy Spirit is perhaps the least understood person of the Trinity. The word Spirit is translated from the same word that means the wind.

Of course, how do you relate to the wind? It’s easy to relate to Jesus, since he has a human face, he lived and worked on this earth, and he taught about love and forgiveness, showed us the way to the Father.

We have not seen the Father’s face, only Jesus has done that. He did tell us that if we had seen him we had seen the Father. That leaves the Spirit.

The Greek word is Pneuma, from which we get such memorable words as pneumonia. It was translated as ‘Geist’ from the German word for wind, which was changed into the word Ghost. And unless you spent some time as a Ghost Buster, you don’t really know what a Ghost looks like.

Besides, ghosts are scary, right? Don’t we get enough ghosts and goblins at Halloween? So, the English translation has become Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is available to anyone who seeks him and accepts him as a person of the Trinity.

Still, without any personal form, it’s hard to relate to the Holy Spirit. He is often seen in the form of a dove, which comes from all four Gospel accounts. He is also most often associated with power.

We heard from the Acts of the Apostles today that God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit, and with power.

He is also associated with fire, as in St. Matthew’s account of John the Baptizer. There he said that Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Remember how God first appeared to Moses? He appeared as a bush that was on fire, but was not consumed.

While all of these words point to a feeling of power, there is still not a familiar person to relate to, though we know the Holy Spirit as a person of the Trinity.

It is perhaps easier to think of him as the Spirit of God, or the Spirit of Christ, since we believe that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. (that bit is debatable, but let’s save that for another time.)

When you are baptized, you are sealed with the Holy Spirit, and marked as belonging to God forever. The Spirit of God is the one who acts in human history. The Spirit moves us to act on behalf of God in this world. He is the prime motivator behind the good works that we do. Without the Spirit of God, none of us could do anything truly good. All of our actions would fall short of the Glory of God.

One of my favorite phrases for meditation is the first lines of a hymn written in the 9th century, author unknown, called the Veni Creator Spiritus:
“Come, Holy Ghost our souls inspire, and lighten with celestial fire.”

Whenever I can’t sleep, or I’m worried about something, and find it hard to quiet my thoughts, I staring repeating it over and over like a mantra, and it works wonders. Give it a try sometime. It’s in the Hymnal, number 503.

The Holy Spirit is a constant companion for us, whether we recognize him or not, so remember he will never abandon or forsake us, but will guide us into the truth for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto everlasting life.



Join our mailing list!

The Holy Mass – Live

Pastoral Directives from Our Bishop


– Christian Education 9:30AM
– Holy Eucharist 10:30AM

– Bible Study 6:00PM

Upcoming Events

  • October 27, 2021
    • Life GroupLife GroupTime: 6:00 pm
      Our Life Group provides one of the best opportunities for people to get to know each other on a deeper level, grow spiritually, and form life-giving friendships.
  • October 31, 2021
    • Christian EducationChristian EducationTime: 9:30 am - 10:15 am
      Join us as we delve into C. S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters. Nowhere is Lewis’ wisdom regarding our ongoing struggle with sin, the world and the devil more clearly on display, than in The Screwtape Letters.
    • Holy MassHoly MassTime: 10:30 am
      St. John is located in the small town of Burkburnett, just north of Wichita Falls. We worship in the Anglican tradition and use the 2019 Book of Common Prayer. We would love for you to visit us on a Sunday morning. Come as you are, worship with us, and grow with us in the knowledge of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • November 2, 2021
    • Divine Stitches MinistryDivine Stitches MinistryTime: 6:00 pm
      Divine Stitches is a sewing ministry. We provide simple blankets for the First Responders in the Burkburnett area, Patsy's House and prayer quilts for those who are in need of special prayer.
  • November 3, 2021
    • Life GroupLife GroupTime: 6:00 pm
      Our Life Group provides one of the best opportunities for people to get to know each other on a deeper level, grow spiritually, and form life-giving friendships.

Join our mailing list!


TrustedSite Secure

1000 South Berry Street
Burkburnett, Texas 76354
(940) 569-3558