Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Is 42:1-4, 6-7
1 Jn 5:1-9
Mk 1:7-11

John the Baptizer said, “One mightier than I is coming after me.” One mightier indeed. Yet this mighty one who comes, comes humbly, not as a conqueror but as a servant. This mighty one approaches the Baptizer and seeks baptism. Why? Why would the mighty one of God, the anointed one, the Messiah, the Christ, deign to be baptized by John? To show us the way and to open for us the door. At Jesus baptism the heavens were torn open, and the Spirit descended upon him like a dove, and the voice of God comes forth saying this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. In humility, the Christ is recognized as God’s beloved. The Word of God made flesh acts in humility, bows before God, and is recognized as the child of God. We, unfortunately, tend to be very, very arrogant indeed. Are we not the pinnacle of creation? Is not the entire world subject to us? We want to believe that. We act as though we are in control, yet we never really are. We study history and see how hubris caused others to fall, but we never seem to learn the lesson. There is much we can do, we have learned much. We are intelligent, but we are not wise. We fail over and over again to see the power in humility. The power of the Christ comes from humility. The power of the Christ comes from Christ’s willingness to bow before God, to accept the Spirit, to be led by the Spirit. We have the power to make that same choice. We can bow before God and allow the Spirit of God to be our guide. We can accept humility, and in that acceptance find true strength, real power. We can accept humility and hear God say to us this is my beloved child in whom I am well pleased.

Deacon John
The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
Jan. 11, 2009