In Mark's account, John the Baptizer appeared, proclaimed his own mission of baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and then announced the greater one coming after him, saying, "I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." Then, immediately, Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John. As he came up from the water, the heavens opened, the Spirit descended on him, and a voice from heaven said, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."
The earliest Church, as it is depicted in Acts, emphasized the importance of being baptized "in the name of Lord Jesus." When this happened, "the Holy Spirit came upon them," as had happened to Jesus, and they were given power to minister in his name.
This Sunday is our reminder of the effect of Jesus' coming on our lives-and the effect on the world that we are called to have in his name. That effect is the transforming power of love. The new light of his appearing is a light that also burns in our hearts-and it is a light we carry into the darkness of the world.