Sunday, January 13, 2019
The Baptism of the Lord
The Revised Common Lectionary passages for the Lord’s Day are:
First Reading: Isaiah 43:1-8
Second Reading: Acts 8:14-17
Gospel Reading: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
The liturgical color for the day is: White
The Baptism of the Lord. It appears the Sunday following the Epiphany. From infancy to fully taking up his ministry we zoom past the first decades of the life of Jesus.
The prophecy says, “When YOU pass through,” and “When YOU walk through…” When that occurs the hand and presence of God is there. There is no abandonment. There is no going it alone. There is no last and final blow that does us in.
It is the baptismal reality that no matter what we face in this world the strong, perfect, creative presence of God goes there with us and we will not be “overwhelmed,” and we will not be “burned.”
The voice that Jesus hears here in the Gospel of Luke: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” That voice comes to Jesus in prayer. In prayer we get our strength to labor in the hot sun of this age. In prayer we get our strength to keep going and keep doing for God. That voice continues to call out to us and call us by name recognizing that we are laboring in the sun to turn this soil and change lives for the better.
Our baptism is an invitation with Christ to work for the kind of world God wants it to be.
The sign at the Water Park does not merely say, “You will get wet,” but it says, “You will DEFINITELY get wet.” It is the sign that is on the life we live.
We will definitely get wet. “When we pass through the waters,” it says in the prophecy, “we will not be overwhelmed.” And when we look to Jesus, we see that even the cross did not overwhelm God.
Yes, we will definitely get wet, but we drip dry through this life wet with the very baptismal waters. Those waters call us to remember that God’s grace and God’s love are what we are immersed in. As we make our way from one wet event to the next, we dare to be wet with the love of God’s mercy calling out to us: “You are my (own), the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”