Read the following passage aloud slowly. We’ll be repeating a line from this Gospel text multiple times. Allow the group to wade into this passage and receive these words from God.

Then​ ​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,​ ​immediately​ ​he​ ​went​ ​up​ ​from​ ​the​ ​water,​ ​and​ ​behold, the​ ​heavens​ ​were​ ​opened​ ​to​ ​him,​ ​and​ ​he​ ​saw​ ​the​ ​Spirit​ ​of​ ​God​ ​descending​ ​like​ ​a​ ​dove​ ​and coming​ ​to​ ​rest​ ​on​ ​him;​ ​and​ ​behold,​ ​a​ ​voice​ ​from​ ​heaven​ ​said,​ ​“This​ ​is​ ​my​ ​beloved​ ​Son,​ ​with whom​ ​I​ ​am​ ​well​ ​pleased.” (Matthew​ ​3:13-17)

Pause for a few seconds

“This​ ​is​ ​my​ ​beloved​ ​Son,​ ​with whom​ ​I​ ​am​ ​well​ ​pleased.”

Pause for a few seconds

“You ​are​ ​my​ ​beloved​ child,​ ​with whom​ ​I​ ​am​ ​well​ ​pleased.”

(repeat the above line 3 times, pausing between each reading)


Use the following questions to guide group discussion

  1. Have you ever noticed the connection between the two primary realities of our identity: that we are beloved by God and bent in on ourselves at the same time?
  2. What are some examples of where people might look for their sense of identity or acceptance?
  3. Did any of the four categories for identity or acceptance that Carolyn mentioned resonate with you? (Outward, Inward, Achievement, Fantasy)
  4. What are some practices that you could do to more deeply understand your identity as God’s beloved?

View a pdf of this guide here.