The Word and Story – January 12, 2020
Le Breton, Jacques ; Gaudin, Jean. Baptism of Christ, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. Original source: Collection of Anne Richardson Womack. Matthew 3:13-17 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, 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 it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him 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, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” In the liturgical calendar, this is the Baptism of the Lord Sunday where we celebrate Jesus’ baptism. The Baptism of the Christ (or the Baptism of Christ) is the feast day commemorating the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. It is celebrated in the Catholic Church as well as the Anglican and Lutheran Churches on the first Sunday following The Epiphany of Our Lord (January 6). The text this week causes us to celebrate the baptism of Jesus, as well as take a fresh look at who he is. He is the True Israel, the second Adam. He was who we were designed to be.He is the Suffering Servant. He took on your sins. He paid a prices – his life – to bear the weight and pain of our sin so that we would not suffer eternally for the brokenness of our sinfulness. He identifies with his people. That was part of the purpose of the baptism: Identification. He knows your pain and frustration. He understand the pain of death, of our hurt and fear. And he reminds us that we can through the weight of that sin and brokenness on his shoulders because he knows we cannot carry that weight. PrayerCreator God, our soul’s delight, your voice thunders over the waters, liberating the future from the past. In the Spirit’s power and the waters of rebirth, Jesus was declared your blessed and beloved Son; may we recall our baptism, and be disciples of the Anointed One. Amen.