January 7, 2001

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

The interest of the people by now was building. They were all beginning to wonder, "Could this John be the Messiah?"

But John intervened: "I'm baptizing you here in the river. The main character in this drama, to whom I'm a mere stagehand, will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He's going to clean house -- make a clean sweep of your lives. He'll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he'll put out with the trash to be burned."


After all the people were baptized, Jesus was baptized. As he was praying, the sky opened up and the Holy Spirit, like a dove descending, came down on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: "You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life."

<The Message >


1. Here's a New Year's Resolution for you -- daily find occasion for asking, "Could this person I am interacting with be the Messiah?" If you are not actively looking for the "presence of the kingdom" (find the book by Ellul with that title) you are not ready for baptism or for the renewal of your baptism.

2. Notice the string of images -- "kingdom life," "a fire," "the Holy Spirit," "changing you from the inside out." What image do you find most intriguing to your passion for life and life renewed? If it is not one of these, add your image into the list. Write it on the page. Use it in your daily conversation.

3. May you hear a daily whisper of creation giving the substrate to your activity. This whisper will have a similar affirmation to that given Jesus. Hear it and grin and move on. GOD says to you, "You are my Daughter/Son, chosen and marked by my love."

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