January 7, 2024

Mark 1:4-11

John the Baptist was in the wilderness calling for people to be baptized to show that they were changing their hearts and lives and wanted God to forgive their sins. Everyone in Judea and all the people of Jerusalem went out to the Jordan River and were being baptized by John as they confessed their sins. John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.He announced, “One stronger than I am is coming after me. I’m not even worthy to bend over and loosen the strap of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

About that time, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10 While he was coming up out of the water, Jesus saw heaven splitting open and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down on him. 11 And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.”


Before the water even dried,
before you healed a single soul,
before you fed the hungry and welcomed the outcast,
from the very beginning,
the Holy One spoke words of blessing and promise over You,
reminding You that You are God’s own.
May those same words echo in our ears and resound in our hearts.
May we know we, too, are a child of God, holy and beloved.
May that blessing go before us,
guiding us through the wilderness of college life,
shaping us into the person we are still in the process of becoming.
Whether thundering from the heavens
or whispered in the sanctuary of every human heart,
may we hear Your voice:


Written by Rev. Emily Rhodes Hunter (she/her/hers), UKirk Virginia Tech