This text is by Carl P. Daw, Jr. (b. 1944), former president of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. In the first stanza, Daw points the worshiper to Christ's baptism in the Jordan. In stanza 2, he points to what took place after the Jesus' baptism, when the Spirit led our Lord to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil for forty days. Halfway through the second stanza, Daw transitions to application for the life of the Christian and then concludes the hymn with a prayer for the baptismal life of the Christian in the third stanza. This hymn is 600 in Lutheran Service Book.
Mark how the Lamb of God’s self-off’ring
Our human sinfulness takes on
In the birthwaters of the Jordan
As Jesus is baptized by John.
Hear how the voice from heaven thunders,
“Lo, this is My beloved Son.”
See how in dovelike form the Spirit
Descends on God’s Anointed One.
From this assurance of God’s favor
Jesus goes to the wilderness,
There to endure a time of testing
That readied Him to teach and bless.
So we, by water and the Spirit
Baptized into Christ’s ministry,
Are often led to paths of service
Through mazes of adversity.
Grant us, O God, the strength and courage
To live the faith our lips declare;
Bless us in our baptismal calling;
Christ’s royal priesthood help us share.
Turn us from ev’ry false allegiance,
That we may trust in Christ alone:
Raise up in us a chosen peopleTransformed by love to be Your own.