Baptism of the Lord Reflection
As we look upon the life of Jesus we see total coherence; there is an alignment between will, intention, word and action. This is what it means to be beloved; for God to take delight; for God’s Word and action to be in accordance with the blueprint for creation, the original plan and the original blessing.
There can never be any discordance because where the Incarnate Word is present, so also is the source of all that is; so also is the Spirit of God that is the active agent, that burning love that cleanses and brings joy. That is why God speaks in the form of commands that come into being: let there be light; you must and you must not; God’s own imperatives towards action.
This is what it means to have total coherence between will, intention, word and action. Water remembers; water remembers receiving the matrix of life as God’s Spirit hovered over the waters at the dawn of time. As we celebrate Jesus baptism, the waters themselves remember with joy receiving the fiery Spirit of Love that is the source of all life. This is the joy that we see present in water crystals photographed by Dr Maseru Emoto, through blessing of intention and word; ugly thoughts and ugly words create ugly crystals, while beautiful thoughts and blessings create wondrous designs. This is true within ourselves as it also becomes the truth for others; the curse that we speak falls first upon ourselves before the other; the blessing we speak falls first upon ourselves before the other.
Unfortunately we do not have the same coherence as Jesus; our direct seed of love through parents, grandparents and carers come to us through their woundedness. It is because of this that our intentions are muddied and unclear and very often formed by self-interest, selfishness and misguided understanding of the will of God. When we use God’s imperative form of command, we are usurping to ourselves the right of judgement and condemnation.
This is the nature of our human journey; the nature of our structures and organisations; the nature of religion itself… To claim for itself invincibility of right judgement, of orthodoxy. This is also the story of Scripture and the story of our woundedness; always claiming for ourselves that which can only be received as a gift.
We bear the woundedness of our ancestors claim on the knowledge of good and evil. We bear the woundedness of our ancestors claim to eternal life.
We bear the woundedness of our ancestors pride seeking to make a name for themselves by reaching into the heavens.
Jesus holds up a mirror for us to see the possibility of becoming that which we already have within, received at our very origins in the waters of life. The very breath of God, the Ruaha speaking us into being, calling us into becoming; making us also into the Beloved.
Through baptism, each of us through blessing and healing of woundedness becomes a beloved son and a beloved daughter of God. Recalling and renewing our baptism is an acknowledgement of the awareness of this reality which becomes the driving force in our lives as Christians.
The image of God as shepherd and defender is one that we need to consider as we recall our own baptism, for the God who calls us is not some distant disembodied voice but the parent, friend and guide who says to us “you are my beloved”.
The Call of Our Baptism
Through our baptism, each of us is called by the Spirit of Fire and Power, called by Love to become the Light in the world; giving birth to the Word within us. Through our Baptism we are called to go into all the world and with the boldness and confidence to proclaim the Gospel in gratitude and peace, glorifying the Lord by our lives. Baptism is for us the crossroad between the Old and the New. A lived experience of God who speaks into our experiences; walking with us in the journey of our lives.
This is God, the author and speaker of life; the Birther of the Cosmos and our first ancestor….both a Father and a Mother.
The journey of this New Year calls on us to walk again with Luke asking the question of “who is this God that Jesus makes known to us.’
Misdirection is possible; misdirection is a reality…the histories of our Religions and our Churches; the histories of our own families; all give ample evidence of misdirection, Illusion and guilt. This misdirection is the bloodied history of those who lead us into their shadowy world of their own creation.
Through this misdirection we can no longer see and know Truth. The misdirection leads us to “miss the mark”, the very meaning of sin.
Let Us Pray
Lord, teach us to first humble ourselves before you, as Jesus did. Only after we have been baptised will the heavens be opened, the Spirit descend on us in bodily shape, like a dove, and your voice will proclaim that we are your Beloved and your favour rests on us. Lord, guide us to be silent when we would judge and condemn through our prejudice and dogmas. Let this become a reality in our lives as we pray every day that we may not judge that we ourselves may not be judged.
Then, like Jesus, we will be ready to commit ourselves to the new venture you have called us to.
Lord, forgive us that as a Church we tend to come to others with feelings of superiority.
Help us rather to see your son Jesus in whatever culture, Ethnic group, race or social class you invite us to enter.
Let us become God’s blessing present in the world in our intentions, in our words and in our actions. As we walk towards this maturity as your disciples, help us to maintain silence until our words can bring true blessing and joy to our brothers and sisters and the world about us.
Instead of speaking our own “must and must not”, let us seek together the nature of God’s blueprint for all of God’s creation, from the least to the greatest. Love is the beginning and Love is the only answer; God’s Love that must continually give itself away, never clinging to anything for itself. Judgement, condemnation and enforcement can never replace this call and this beginning; first comes love.