There is a highway of holiness and whoever walks this road will not go astray. Those with everlasting joy on their heads, walk singing with gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
There is only one way to find that highway of life--eternal life and that is through the entrance, one of rebirth. "Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters: "Let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me, Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you." Isaiah 55:1-13
The invitation is extended to all, rich or poor. "Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon."
We recall today the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan by John. "The torrent of delight is baptized in the river, drying up the flood of evil, and gushing forth divine remission." "granting deliverance from the servitude of the ancient sin, and sanctifying and enlightening us."
What happened in the waters was a transformation. "Eternal life is coming to reclaim Adam."
Isaiah 35: "They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
Isaiah 12:3-6 "Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And in that day you will say: "Praise the Lord, call upon His name; declare His deeds among the peoples, make mention that His name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for He has done excellent things; This is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!"
Tone 6 of the forefeast
"Prepare, O River Jordan!
Behold, Christ is coming to be baptized by John in you!
Rejoice, O barren wilderness!
Dance in gladness, hills and mountains!
Eternal Life is coming to reclaim Adam.
Forerunner, call out with the voice of one who cries:
"Prepare the ways of the Lord! Make straight His paths!"
The Gospel of Matthew 3:13-17
At that time, Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, 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 thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."
Coming out from the water, we see the manifestation of the Trinity. His plan of salvation and a new beginning for all mankind. A new chance...Have you been Baptized and received the Living water and rebirth freely offered to all by His great love and compassion?
Today, at the blessing of waters, we recall Adam. Jesus, the Bestower of Light, was baptized in the flesh, in the Jordan, to enlighten those in darkness. Through the mercy of God, we hope for salvation, sanctification and enlightenment. And, are exceedingly glad.
All references are taken from the "Orthodox Study Bible and service books"