Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Baptism of Our Lord

According to Mark they came to the Jordan as sinners looking for forgiveness.  A stream of hurting, broken humanity journeyed from all over Judea and Jerusalem to find a new beginning in the water.  Then one day another came.  He had no sin.  He had no need of forgiveness.  And yet he came to the water.  Here in the Jordan he willingly established his solidarity with sinful man.  Made to be sin who knew no sin.  One man set his face toward death that he might die in their place.  His life for theirs.  Today the ministry begins, the reverse journey back to death that there might be life.  Today the heavens open knowing they will close in darkness for a time on that hill called Skull.  They will open looking to the day the curtain finally tears asunder and the sacred space revealed, the place where man met God for atonement, atonement through blood sprinkled upon a seat called Mercy.  It will open showing where Jesus will ascend to the right hand of the Father, the place he has prepared for us, the home to which he wishes to take us.  Today the Spirit descends as a dove, the Spirit who hovered over the primeval waters bringing life out of empty darkness.  The dove that was released from the ark to find dry ground has returned, for the flood has ended.  We were buried with him through death, buried in those waters that sin's power might die.  We have arisen to walk in newness of life.  The Spirit has come to bring the life of Christ to our death-filled lives.  Today the Father speaks.  He declares his love for his Son, proclaims he is pleased.  We who stand in Christ by faith hear the voice too.  We are among the beloved of God.  Because of him the Father looks with pleasure upon us.  Just as the angels sang on Christmas day, peace to men with whom he is pleased.  Our life is hid with God in Christ.  Our sinful humanity clothed in his righteousness.  Today we step again into the river of life.  We return to the font to remember where we were reborn, remade, regenerated, renewed, where the Spirit descended, where the Father spoke, where we were buried and raised, where it all began....

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