Depicting one of the greatest days of the Christian year we see in the icon of the "Epiphany," the manifestation of God. Also known to us as "Theophany," meaning "God reveals Himself to us," we see the Holy Trinity clearly revealed for all humankind to know. The Icon of the Baptism of Jesus brings us visually and symbolically into the presence of the manifestation of God. In its presence, we know that God reveals Himself to us, and that through our own baptism, established in the Baptism of Christ, we are made new in the Lord.
Our Christian life begins with our own Baptism and Chrismation into the Orthodox Faith. Membership in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is based on our participation in the Holy Mysteria of Baptism and Chrismation. Our membership in the Church, however, does not stop once we are baptized. It is the beginning of our life in Christ! It is the means by which we become citizens of the Heavenly Kingdom! Holy Baptism has enabled us to become partakers in the gift of salvation!
Our first STEWARDSHIP offering comes during our Baptism. In thanksgiving for the gift of new life in Christ, we make a personal sacrifice. The tonsuring of the hair is a symbol that we give a part of ourselves to God. This act of the newly baptized member of the Church is done freely and cheerfully. By this act we declare that we will not only offer a part of ourselves to God, but will commit our whole life to Him!
Every Orthodox Christian household must again consider the reason for having been baptized into Christ. When we acknowledge the gift of eternal life offered through Holy Baptism, there is no question as to why we must develop and grow as stewards of the Faith!
See: Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; John 1:29-34; Romans 6:3-11; Colossians 2:12
To learn more, visit the Department of Stewardship.