Sunday, January 9, 2022: The Baptism of the Lord
Gospel – Luke: 15-16, 21-22
The people were filled with expectations, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
“When the song of the angels is stilled; when the star in the sky is gone; when the kings and princes are home; when the shepherds are back with their flocks, the work of Christmas begins: To find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among people, to make music in the heart.” – Howard Thurman
In this Gospel, Jesus is leaving his hidden life. He and John are young adults. John is baptizing. People ask, are you the Christ? John’s humble answer, “No, there is one mightier than I coming.”
After being baptized, as if he needed to be baptized, Jesus is praying. In those moments the Voice declares, “This is my beloved, hear him.” I and we are all beloved of God. Can I take this in?
As we begin the work of Christmas wherever our star has led us, perhaps it would help to repeat frequently during the day the mantra, “I am beloved of God. I am doing the work of Christmas.”