Father in heaven, at the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River You proclaimed Him Your beloved Son and anointed Him with the Holy Spirit. Make all who are baptized in His name faithful in their calling as your children and inheritors with Him of everlasting life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
“What are you doin’ here, preacher? I did not ask you to come.” The elderly man glowered at the Pastor who stood at the door of his ramshackle house. The pastor quietly reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of paper, a document which had been signed by the leaders of the congregation of which the man was a member. The pastor pointed to the line in the Call document which delineated his duties. There it said he was to call on the flock, seeking the lost. He was supposed to be there, even if the crabby old man did not want to see him. He had been called to that doorstep by a community of people who cared for this old codger and he had been called by his Lord, Jesus Christ. He wasn’t about to leave without talking to the old man.
The old pastor who told me this story said that he regularly carried his call document around in his pocket in that congregation. They had not really read it, he thought. He felt the need frequently to pull it out and show them what it said. They had no idea what they had signed off on when they called him to be their Pastor. He took it very seriously. We acknowledge in this prayer that God proclaimed Jesus to be His beloved Son. There is a great deal of authority in being God’s only and beloved Son. Anyone who prays this prayer can’t look out through the screen door and tell Him to go away. God Himself has said that Jesus is about His business. If that wasn’t enough, he visibly poured out the Holy Spirit on Jesus that day too, authorizing Him with all authority in heaven and on earth. Jesus uses that authority to work forgiveness, conquer death, and win redemption for all. Now, he stands on your doorstep and with all authority sends you out into this world (read Matthew 28:16-20 to see what I mean.)