Saturday, 12 January 2013

The baptism of Christ

Only an 8am sermon to write this week - on Luke 3: 15-17, 21-22.

‘Now when all the people had been baptized..’
Picture the scene: a crowd of people, who have been baptised by John, standing on the banks of the Jordan, drying in the sun.. wondering what this fresh start will mean to them.
And then, as Jesus is baptised – last, by the sound of Luk’e account, the voice from heaven “You are my beloved”.

I wonder how many of the crowd thought that God the Father was addressing them. Maybe that’s what this fresh start, this repentance John is talking about – really means -  new life as beloved children of God. But then the Holy Spirit comes to rest on just one of the crowd – on Jesus. He, not John, is God’s chosen one. And yet, the gospel Jesus comes to proclaim is that God’s love IS for every person there. God’s love and blessing is declared to Jesus – the Holy Spirit rest on him and he begins his ministry. But this is also the start of the adoption of many sons and daughters of God.

It might take you back to the passage we heard at Christmas time – from the beginning of John’s gospel – where the coming of Jesus is announced and then it says “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.”

The coming of Jesus, and the baptism of Jesus, each point to God coming to us in a particular way in this extraordinary person. But the coming of Jesus to us enables all of us – you & me & anyone else who chooses it – to be sons and daughters of God, to be fed and nurtured at this table by Gods love.
Good news indeed. Thanks be to God.

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