Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!
This coming week marks the start of the season of Epiphany. Epiphany is the period in the church year sandwiched between the Christmas and Lent seasons. The season of Epiphany focusses on the Ministry of Jesus. It begins with Jesus’ baptism. Let’s top up our coffees and begin our journey through Epiphany…
Readings for Jan. 12, 2020: The Baptism of our Lord
Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 29; Romans 6:1-11; Matthew 3:13-17
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17
What an awesome moment it would have been, watching a dove shine light upon this seemingly ordinary man, and then a booming voice come out of nowhere acknowledging him as his son. What an awesome moment! I wonder if the people standing around, waiting their turn to be baptized and listening to John preaching, really took in all that was happening before them. Were they attentive to the events that were occurring or were they busy fussing with their sandals, or trying to sooth the baby fussing in the heat of the day, or thinking about what to make for supper, or wiping the dust of their children’s robes as the little ones poked and prodded at each other while growing ever more impatient for their turn in the water? Were the people attentive enough to realize that they experienced face-to-face our God in his fullness: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, together in person.
Well, I believe it would be our first reaction, my first reaction, to say, “Of course they did! How could you miss it? They’d have to be deaf and blind not to see this wondrously glorious and holy event that took place.” Yet, unfortunately, isn’t that just what humankind is: deaf and blind to God? We can have the most awesome blessing bestowed upon us and we walk unknowingly passed it. Even more alarming is the fact that we too are given the promise of the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, of the forgiveness of sins through Christ who bore the punishment of our sins, and of life eternal with God the Father, who has created us and calls us his own, through Christ’s work of redemption, and who is watching over us, each and every moment of every day. Yet, are we blind and deaf to him in our life and all he has accomplished for our life eternal? Do we get so caught up in the here and now, the to-do list and the wants or ‘have to’s, the pain and trials of our lives that we are ignorant to God in his fullness in our life this day? This moment?
In your baptism, God in his fullness descended upon you- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to make you a new creation, redeemed from sin, death and the power of the devil, and alive in the Holy Spirit who keeps you in the one true faith. Marvel at his presence. Marvel at his grace. Marvel at his love. Marvel at his faithfulness. John may have baptized for the forgiveness of sins, but Jesus’ baptism is one of total cleansing and adoption, once and for all. Be amazed! Be always in awe and thankful of this awesome moment! And may you hear our Father say to you, as he sees you covered in the robe of Christ, “You are my child, whom I love, and with you I am well pleased.”
Prayer: Dear Lord, forgive me for not being aware of all your blessings around and for me. Thank you for your love and mercy, grace and faithfulness, through Jesus – my Lord and Saviour. Open the eyes of my heart so that I can see you and cling to you always. In you I rejoice! You are an awesome God! In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!