Jesus then appeared, arriving at the Jordan River from Galilee.
He wanted John to baptize him. John objected, "I'm the one
who needs to be baptized, not you!"
But Jesus insisted. "Do it. God's work, putting things right
all these centuries, is coming together right now in this baptism."
So John did it.
The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters, the skies
opened up and he saw God's Spirit - it looked like a dove - descending
and landing on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: "This
is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life."
<The Message >
"...whatever may be guessed about the baptism that Jesus
will administer, there remains the still more remarkable fact
that God Incarnate has begun his redemptive work with an act
of public repentance. Everything that will follow, the entire
public life of God-made-man, will be performed under the sign
of this repentance. The fact bears repeating: God has repented!
But of what? What has he done wrong? As these disturbing questions
swirl in the air, God's great enemy, the Devil, suddenly takes
This paragraph from Jack Miles recent book, "Christ: A Crisis
in the Life of God" certainly raises some intriguing questions.
Have you thought of GOD having to repent? There are certainly
times recorded in the scripture when GOD changes GOD's mind and
essentially says, "I won't make that mistake again."
While, we, like John, are try to protect GOD from needing to
grow through repentance, the baptism goes ahead.
We can look at our own baptism as a sign of acknowledging our
belovedness, our choosenness, from the outside. We can join Jesus
in beginning to live out this wonderful affirmation.
It is interesting to reflect on this beginning of Jesus' ministry
as an internal healing within the image of the Trinity. What
does it mean for The Triune GOD to be baptized?
This might be one of those moments which upsets everyone. Those
who focus on the humanity of Jesus will resist this picture because
of the Trinitarian imagery. Likewise those who focus on the divinity
of Christ will resist the need for the Godhead to repent.
All-in-all, what a way to start moving toward what it means for
us to begin manifesting the presence of GOD in our lives. Are
we focused on the outside stuff that is done to us or the inside
stuff which grows wider and deeper? If it is not both, what sort
of trouble are we cruising toward?
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