St. John, the greatest prophet of them all,
his life renewed through following God’s call,
bids us repent and Christ’s new life begin
and take the plunge to cleanse us from all sin.

This wild, eccentric man wore camel’s hair
and locusts mixed with honey were the fare
he ate. For home, he chose the wilderness.
“Make straight God’s way! Be done with crookedness!”

And so from far and wide the people came,
both rich and poor, to call upon God’s name,
confessing sins, fulfilling Israel’s dream
of ent’ring Promised Land through Jordan’s stream.

When sinless Jesus asked his cousin John
if he could be baptised with all that throng,
he said, “I am not worthy of this task.
To be baptised by you is what I ask.”

Our Lord insisted till he got his way,
to show God’s love for sinners that same day.
He plunged into our fearful sin and pain
So we with him might rise to life again.

A foretaste of his death upon the cross,
at one with humans in our sense of loss,
Christ comes among us, our Emmanuel,
and chooses sinful folk with whom to dwell.

So raise your hymn of praise to Christ our Lord.
Behold the Lamb of God by all adored.
Empowered by the Spirit, as a dove,
may we with Christ proclaim God’s words of love.

Suggested tune: Adoro te devote