The Baptism of Christ – Reflection by Canon Leslie


Join us for worship online and read Canon Leslie's blog post for the Baptism of Christ, 10 January 2021.


Today is the First Sunday of Epiphany when the Church is celebrating the Baptism of Christ. The Gospel reading today is Mark’s account of the Baptism of Jesus. In this account, Mark presents John dressed like Elijah in the Old Testament. Dressed like this, John’s vocation is to anoint Jesus as God’s Messiah. The Hebrew word ‘Messiah’ means the ‘anointed one’, ‘the King’. For Jesus, John’s anointing is confirmed by ‘the Spirit descending like a dove’ and by the divine voice.  The words ‘You are my son’ echo Psalm 2, a Psalm used to celebrate the anointing of the king.

For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during the preceding week, I invited you to focus on the image of coronation. In his baptism Jesus was anointed to reign over God’s people. In today’s picture from his book, Water, Teddy Horsley is looking at the baptism window in his church where John the Baptist is anointing Jesus and the Spirit is descending on him like a dove.

Next Sunday, the Second Sunday of Epiphany, the Gospel reading from the beginning of John’s Gospel pictures Jesus as the link between heaven and earth. The image to help us prepare for that reading is ladders. You can find out more about that theme here We would really appreciate you letting us know how you are using these materials. Please send us your ideas and photos of the things you may create; email them to

To find about more about Teddy Horsley’s book, Water, as well as other Teddy Horsley adventures, check out his page of the St. Mary’s Centre website:, or his own website here:

We warmly invite you to join us in worship today here:

Teddy sends his Sunday greetings to all.

Canon Leslie