– Welcome to Daily Living with father Chapin, where we consider God’s word and how we might be able to apply it into our daily living. Yes my friend, that is what we do. Sometimes the Bible can be a bit confusing, so we bust it down like a fraction, we’re asking questions. Questions like what do these gospels have to do with me? That’s what I wanna know. How can I take these gospels and apply them into my daily living so that I can become a reflection of the love of God in a world that is in serious need of more love? I wanna know how can I become a reflection and the light in this darkness? Look around, there’s a lot of bad news. How can I take the good news and be a tool making God’s kingdom present, not someday, but today and everyday. And that’s what this show is all about. I’m so glad you could join us today. Oh, we got a good one. We are hearing from the gospel of Mark. This is what he proclaimed, “One mightier than I “is coming after me. “I’m not worthy to stoop “and loosen the thongs of His sandals. “I baptize you with water, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. “It happened in those days that Jesus came “from Nazareth of Galilee “and was baptized in the Jordan by John. “On coming out of the water, “He saw the heavens being torn open, “and the spirit like a dove descending upon Him. “And a voice came from the heavens, “you are my beloved son, “with you I’m well pleased.” The gospel of the Lord, it’s short, but it packs a whole lot of punch. This is Daily Living, I’m father Chapin. You stick around, we’ll be right back, and we’re gonna talk about this gospel and a few other things here as we consider God’s word and how we might be able to apply into our daily living. Hi this is father Chapin, host to Daily Living with Father Chapin. It’s such a pleasure to be able to come into your home each and every week and share the good news, but it’s a bit expensive. So I would ask you to consider grabbing a piece of paper and a pencil. And at the next break, I’m gonna share with you some details how you can become a partner with Daily Living. And together we can take the good news to a lost world. What do you say? We get back to the show. Welcome back to Daily Living. Today, we find ourselves in the gospel of Mark 1. And as I had mentioned a time or two in the past, Mark pretty much cuts to the chase. And that’s why his gospel is the shortest by far of the four, not a whole lot of detail. While both Matthew and Luke build a case for Jesus, much as a lawyer would, beginning with His birth and working through the events of the Jordan River, they make the case for the reality that Jesus is Messiah. Jesus is the Christ. Mark on the other hand, not so much. He just goes for it, I mean, the very first line of the gospel of Mark is “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ “the son of God.” Boom, there it is. I mean, in your face deal with it, no preamble, no preface, no notes from the author, just puts it out there first line. Then he moves right into this strange man we know as John the Baptist, appearing in the desert proclaiming a baptism for the forgiveness of sins. Now John had a very specific message, a message that resonates today, if not even more so as the day he first spoke it, namely you are living in your sin and it is causing you to be separated from God. So repent because God is near. In other words, change your ways. Mark then goes on to describe how the whole Judean countryside and all of the inhabitants of Jerusalem were streaming out to him to be baptized by him in the River Jordan, as they acknowledge their sins which is a pretty amazing thing when you consider where he is ’cause he’s way out there in the desert, in the middle of nowhere. He was the equivalent of the guy standing at the street corner wearing the sandwich board, you know that guy, screaming out, “Repent the end is now, and you ain’t ready.” You know that guy, the one that everybody ignored as well. When it came to John the Baptist, not so much. Somehow John had struck a collective cord in the nation of Israel. And all these people came out to the desert to listen to him and be baptized. Why, well, I suppose the people of Israel at that time were feeling a bit empty. I suppose they were feeling a bit hollow. I suppose that old time religion just wasn’t working for them anymore. Good thing, there’s nobody like that around here. So let’s get to it. This is what John the Baptist proclaimed, “One mightier than I is coming after me. “I’m not worthy to stoop “and loosen the thongs of His sandals. “I baptize you with water, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” So let’s set the table with a bit of context. Here you have this man, John the Baptist, crying out in the middle of the wilderness, in the middle of nowhere, “Your sins have separated you from God. “Come into the water, be baptized, as an act of repentance. “Acknowledged that you are separated from God “and demonstrate through this baptism “that you desperately want to be reconciled with God.” Then he goes on to say, “There is one among you whom you do not recognize “who’s coming after me. “And He’s not gonna use water. “No, no, no, He’s gonna baptize you “with the Holy Spirit.” Now of course they didn’t have CNN and Fox at the time. So the only way that this could really, the word could get out was word of mouth. And well, it did like wildfire. Now keep in mind, he’s way out there in the middle of Jordan. He is to say the very least not necessarily convenient to get to. And I suppose somebody had to be the first one to get into the river and be baptized by John. And maybe they brought friends, I don’t know. But however, it all went down, I imagine that when they came out of the water and were asked how do you feel, the answer was something more than wet. It must’ve been transformative, because like I said the word spread like wildfire and the people came. Now it happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee to be baptized by John in the River Jordan. Now some might be sitting back some 2000 years later and wonder did this really happen? I mean, really was Jesus really baptized by John the Baptist, or is this just some story? And to you, if you’re thinking that I would say, oh yeah, it happened, two reasons. Number one, because the Bible which I believe is inspired by God is true. But secondly any serious scripture scholar who studies the events of antiquity are in agreement that yes, in fact John baptize performed a baptism on Jesus. So we can say with a high degree of certainty that this is a historical event. And as long as we’re talking about historical events with a high degree of certainty, let’s throw the crucifixion of Jesus in there too. Flavius Josephus, who was a first century historical author wrote many books. And one of those books was called the “Antiquities of the Jews,” which as you might imagine was about the history of the Jewish people. And of all the things that he could have written about, one of those things was about John the Baptist and how he was baptizing people. He wrote about how he had incredible popularity among the people. So when we look at this account that Mark opens up his gospel with, we can with great certainty, say, yes, this is true, it really happened this way. We also know that baptism as Christians is where it all begins. It’s foundational. Baptism is a fundamental teaching of the church. One could say that baptism is the gateway to all the sacraments. So if you really want to be a follower of Jesus Christ, if you really want to be part of His church, well you got to get baptized. My mind goes to the book of Acts, which by the way is a book in the Bible that follows the gospels and chronicles the early life of the church. Now, if you read that book of Acts, you’ll read all about, in the second chapter, this story of Pentecost, which is of course the birth of the church. And as story goes, Peter receives the gift of the Holy Sprit or tongues of fire. And he is transformed after receiving the Holy Spirit, which is by the way a gift that is available to you today, he changes. He goes from cowering, fearful Peter hiding in the upper room to bold preaching Peter, as he stepped out on that balcony giving what could possibly be the greatest homily in the history of the world. Now, when he finishes his homily people are cut to the heart and they go, “What shall we do?” And Peter says, “Repent and be baptized every one of you “for the forgiveness of your sins. “And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Like I said this is foundational when it comes to following Christ. Now, did you notice that that sentence began with a word. And that word is repent, meaning to change direction, which is really hard for people to do. Because of course I’m a people, I know this personally, which is why the lies to communion are long, but the lies to confession well, there is no lie. It’s a lowliness hour I have in the week because we live in a world that asks, well why bother, do I really need to do that? ‘Cause you know, I’m a good person, never killed anybody, or maybe it’s that whole, I’m not really religious, but I’m a spiritual person kind of thing, whatever that means. But even if you have been baptized for us who have, think about it, how often do we even think about our baptism much less celebrated significance in our daily living. We celebrate birthdays. We celebrate Christmas. We celebrate anniversaries. But how many of us even think about our baptism, much less celebrated. Many of us don’t even know the day we were baptized. So why did we get baptized in the first place? Was it simply some ritual that seemed to be important to our parents, because while they were trying to please their parents, kind of a traditional thing like going to the prom. If that’s the case, it’s kind of ironic, because if you truly believe in Christianity, a case could be made and I’d be just the guy to make it, that baptism could be the most important event in your life. Just saying it happened in those days “That Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee “and was baptized by John in the River Jordan. “And coming out of the water, “He saw the heavens being torn open, “and the spirit like a dove descending upon Him. “And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved son, with you I am well pleased.” This is Daily Living, I’m father Chapin. And you hang out, we’ll be right back, and we will continue to talk about this amazing gospel that comes to us here as we consider God’s work and how we might be able to apply it into our daily living. Hi, this is father Chapin host to Daily Living. If you feel like you’re being fed by this ministry, I would ask you to prayerfully consider a partnership with Daily Living and what we’re trying to do here. A monthly gift of any amount that you feel comfortable with and I will send you a monthly newsletter. And if you provide an email address, a script of the show prior to it’s broadcast. Just write a cheque to Daily Living, P.O. Box 339, Nitro West Virginia 25143. You can also go on the website at mydailyliving.com and gift your PayPal. And together we can shine the light of the good news in a whole lot of dark places. What do you say? We get back to show. Welcome back to Daily Living. Now, just for the break, we were talking about how it happened in those days, “That Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, “and was baptized by John in the River Jordan. “And coming out of the water, “He saw the heavens being torn open “and the spirit like a dove descending upon Him. “and a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved son, with you I’m well pleased.” So the crescendo of the baptism of Jesus is twofold. Number one, you have the Holy Spirit descending like a dove upon Jesus. And number two you have this voice coming from the heavens declare “You’re my beloved son, with you I’m well pleased,” which is both affirmation as well as acceptance. Two things that I say are severely lacking in our world today, affirmation and acceptance. My friends, we are living in a world that is enjoying the highest standard of living in all of history. Yet we are a people full of anxiety. Recent studies show that one out of three Americans suffer depression. Just three years ago, the 10th largest cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds was suicide. Today, it’s the second. The opioid addiction in this country, the crisis, especially where I live here in West Virginia is just out of control, why? Well may I suggest it is because of this lack of affirmation and acceptance that we all crave. It’s a deep drive within us all. It’s what drives this incessant need to get likes on Facebook. The more likes you get, the more you are affirmed. I mean, consider Twitter for a moment, what’s that all about? It’s about the accumulation of followers. Look at me, I have 217 people following me. I’m affirmed by my friends. It’s an illusion. A professor at MIT by the name of Sherry Turkle, wrote a book called “Alone Together.” And in this book, she writes it, today people feel more connected yet more lonely at the same time, which that just makes no sense. How is that even possible? Our technology has connected us in ways never thought even possible just a generation ago and yet we’re more isolated than ever before. And you can see this play out all over the place. Not too long ago, I was in an airport sitting in one of those line of like 20 chairs. This was pre-pandemic. And I was struck by the fact that nobody was talking to anybody. Why? Because everybody was either on, or staring at their phone. We’ve got this weird situation where we find ourselves while standing in the line, waiting for our coffee at the coffee shop, talking to somebody in China while completely ignoring the person next to us. We don’t even say hello. Meanwhile, we all have this deep need and desire for acceptance. We all have a deep need and desire for affirmation. We all have a deep need and desire to fit in and find our place in the world. And unfortunately, for many of us, particularly our younger generation, we look for this affirmation on social media to validate our lives. When in reality affirmation, at least true affirmation and true acceptance come when you are accepted and affirmed and valued for who you actually are, and not the mask that you present to this world. This is primal, it’s what drives us. We all have this great need to be accepted. We all have this great need to be affirmed, and may I suggest this is the root of our present anxiety. And anxiety that comes from this place of quiet panic as we look for affirmation, which is fleeting. We never seem to be able to grasp it. And of course, this is nothing new. It’s been heightened by our present technological age, but it’s been with us since the beginning of time. And may I suggest this is precisely what drove all those people into the desert to be baptized by John the Baptist. This anxiety of not feeling a part of this, this idea of feeling separated, all coming from a lack of affirmation which translates into a lack of meaning. So let’s talk about this affirmation. Specifically, what exactly is affirmation? This thing that everybody seems to be looking for? Well, first of all, let me begin by saying that affirmation is incredibly powerful. Once upon a time, there was a very successful athlete. I mean, this guy was a star, by the world standards he was a huge success, but he had everything and nothing at the same time, because like many of us he had lost his way and was suffering horrible depression and anxiety. Now he was not an exceptionally big man, but he was exceptionally strong and he played in the National Football League. So one day he was being interviewed and he was asked “How exactly is it that “you came to play football?” And he told this story, evidently somewhere way back in his childhood, he was in elementary school. He is on the recess yard. He’s on a playground and one of the teachers comes out of the school holding a football and yells out to the kids, “Hey, kids go long.” And they all took off running. And that teacher lost a football way up in the air. And he describes that he was running and all of a sudden he looked up and he could see the football was coming right at him. And he just blindly reached up and he caught it, and everybody just stopped and went, “Wow, wow.” Then the teacher ran up and says, “Great catch, you’re an athlete.” And you know that day he went home and said, well he asked his mother, he goes, “I want a football.” And boom there he was, he was an athlete. Just one seemingly insignificant moment of affirmation changed his whole life. Now I say all that to say this, baptism could potentially change your whole life, because it’s the greatest moment of affirmation anybody could ever have. Baptism is our acceptance of what Jesus Christ is freely offering. Yes, I understand Baptism is for the forgiveness of sin. That is true, which is a good thing, given the fact that we’re all sinners, but baptism is also affirmation and acceptance as we are grafted into the resurrection of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. My friend we live in a world that is fraught with anxiety. We live in a world that is fraught with tension, but the good news is that all of that can be dealt with through what Jesus is so freely offering you today. And in case you’re wondering what that is, it’s the Holy Spirit. And in case you’re wondering what the Holy Spirit does, it allows us to have a conscious contact with the God who created us. And that all begins with baptism. Baptism is how we receive the Holy Spirit which is how we find God. Now there might be some you out there that were baptized a long time ago, but somehow through the years that quiet voice has been muffled by the world of chaos that we find ourselves presently living in. If that is you, hear me when I say it is inside of you, you don’t gotta be going out there and look for Jesus. It is inside of you. You don’t have to take some spiritual retreat, climb a mountain, it’s already inside of you. All you have to do is cut through the noise, seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened up for you. He’s standing right behind you. He’s just waiting for you to turn around. It’s not like He’s hiding. In fact, I imagine He’s been waiting on you for a long time. Every year, my family over the Thanksgiving weekend buys a Christmas tree, and they always go to the same tree farm down in North Carolina in the mountains, because Christmas tree farming is big business in North Carolina. But last year they had a really big problem. It was a blight of fungus and had gotten into the land and killed all the Douglas firs, which by the way that’s what we call a Christmas tree. So anyway, these tree farmers, they came up with a very interesting solution to their problem. They planted other types of pine trees that were impervious to the fungus. And once those roots took hold they grafted in Douglas firs into those trees. So in doing so these Douglas firs had roots of a different tree, allowing them to grow in the fungus infected land. Does anybody see where I’m going with this? My friends, we are living in an infected land. It infects you, it infects me, all of us. It infects our bodies. It infects our souls. It infects our spirit. You see, baptism is not something that we do for God. Baptism is something that God does for you. He’s giving you His son, so that through baptism you can graft into Him, because guess what? His roots have already conquered this infected land. His taproot has defeated sin, let us graft into Jesus and He will give us the peace. He will give us the affirmation. He will give us the acceptance that we all crave. And in this way, and only this way, in the midst of all the anxiety we’re living in, in the midst of all this chaos, in the midst of all this madness, you will find rest. My friends, repent and believe in the gospel. That word repent coming from the Greek metanoia, meaning change of direction. We need to change our ways. We need to locate that habitual sin that is keeping us from the sunlight of the Holy Spirit. We need to deal with it, it’s time. No, no, it’s not time, it’s past time. Let us deal with it right here, right now. Let us wade into the waters of our own baptism. And if somebody out there has never been baptized, find a local church, get it done. It could be the most important thing you ever did in your life. You are my beloved son. You are my beloved daughter, with you I am well pleased. You know, every day in this country, somebody does something nice for somebody else. Today, why don’t you let that somebody be you? Because the best vitamin for a Christian is be one. This is Daily Living, I’m father Chapin, and hope you can come back next week and we’ll do it again. Until then, I hope you let God live in your life. And I bless you. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.