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The High Realm of Stormark
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Alfred Dunholm

Service celebrating the Baptism of Christ

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Greetings to you, brothers and sisters in Stormark, from the Holy Anglican Church of St George upon this special day upon; the commemoration of the baptism of Jesus Christ. The significance of Christ’s baptism is impossible to overlook for the simple fact it marks a key turning point in His life; the transition from a comparatively unremarkable youth to the days of preaching and ministry which would ultimately end upon the cross. The events of that January day so long ago upon the banks of the river Jordan are recounted in the Gospels and as such hear now the Gospel according to St Matthew, glory to you ‘O Lord.

 

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness.” Then John consented.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Praise to you, ‘O Christ.

 

These remarkable events are the culmination of all the work of John the Baptist who had been working tirelessly baptising people in their hundreds in preparation for the coming of the Messiah, which had been foretold by the Prophets. Since his mystical birth in Bethlehem over 30 years earlier Jesus had lived an almost ordinary life amongst the people of Nazareth learning carpentry, he knew well the hardships and failings of the people whom he had come to save. And by being baptised in this manner Christ was following the footsteps of all those who had been baptised by John before him; he truly was Emmanuel, meaning “God with us”. When the Heavens opened to proclaim Christ’s divine majesty in annihilated the doubts of those around Jesus as to whether he truly was the Messiah which the angels had proclaimed him to be so many years before. And that is truly the wonder of Christianity, that God loved us so much that he was willing to come down to us, live with us, be baptised with us, and ultimately die for us. But we must never forget that the sacrifice made upon the cross was made once for all of us, not simply for those who lived at that time, therefore let us strive in our lives to be worthy of the love which God has bestowed on us.

 

Now let us pray;

Dear Lord, as we gather here in the Micronation of Stormark we pray for this and every micronation; that their peoples may live joyful and righteous lives and come to see you, their God and saviour. We pray particularly at this time for Harald, that in his earthly life he may be kept safe from all the perils and dangers of this world. We pray also for the recent attempts to bring Christianity more fully into Micran life, and it is our hope that it might enrich the experience for all of us. Amen.

 

We conclude our prayers with the collect appointed for this first Sunday of Epiphany;

 

Eternal Father,

who at the baptism of Jesus

revealed him to be your Son,

anointing him with the Holy Spirit:

grant to us, who are born again by water and the Spirit,

that we may be faithful to our calling as your adopted children;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

We conclude this service with a section of “Guide me ‘O Thou great Redeemer” which sums up well the theme of Emmanuel, God with us.

 

Guide me, O thou great redeemer,

Pilgrim through this barren land;

I am weak, but thou art mighty,

Hold me with thy powerful hand;

Bread of heaven, bread of heaven

Feed me till I want no more.

 

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Thank you, High King, for allowing me to do so :). You will be pleased to hear that Stormark is the first Diocese to be mentioned in the new cycle of prayer for the church which I began today, and as such prayers for Stormark, its citizens, and yourself personally have appeared accross all nine nations who are a part of this church.

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