Fulfill all Righteousness

Sunday, January 12

Scott Murphy

Scott Murphy

By Scott Murphy, First Presidency

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me? But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

—Matthew 3:13–17

The confirmation service was about to begin. After the baptism of the children, they sat in the pew reserved for them. As I watched the joyful expressions of these newly baptized disciples, I focused on Brian. He reached behind him, took the “Reserved” sign off the back of the pew, and placed it on his head.

At first I chuckled at Brian’s humor. But the humor decreased as I recognized the profound message in that image of this new disciple sitting with a “Reserved” sign on his head. Here was a young boy who had just made a covenant with God in baptism as he offered to commit his life as best he understood at age 10.

The sign on Brian’s head reminded me that in our baptism, we are reserving ourselves to follow the way of Christ. Christ made the same decision to reserve himself for the sake of others. For Jesus, the act of fulfilling all righteousness was his way of signaling how he shared his life to make God known and real for all people. In his baptism, Jesus made it possible for humanity to be with God, themselves, and one another.

Doctrine and Covenants 164:3b reminds us to live the meaning of our baptism daily. Through the choices we make, we give place for others to know God’s love and grace.

I am thankful for the reminder a 10-year-old boy offered me that day as I joined him in our covenant with God to live our lives in love and service.

Prayer for Peace
Holy Spirit, descend on us as we look to you for strength and comfort. We know you, and you are real to us. May we covenant anew in our daily lives, making Christ’s mission, our mission.

Spiritual Practice: Experience Congregations in Mission
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 164:9a–d. Reread the sentence, “If you truly would be Community of Christ, then embody and live the concerns and passion of Christ.” Make a list of the issues you feel mattered most to Christ. Make another list of issues that matter to your congregation. Reflect on the similarities and differences. How can you help align the lists? Throughout the day, as issues arise, ask yourself, “Would this matter to Christ?”

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will meditate on the meaning of my baptism, or on other blessings of my life.

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1 Comment

  1. Bob Watkins

     /  12 January 2014

    I took this as a personal challenge to be reserved for Christ and to be an in unison with God.

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