Epiphany 2021: The Lord’s Baptism
Gospel Reading: Mark 1:7-11
This is what John the Baptist proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
All Justice Fulfilled in All Things
by David Morrison
Just before he was baptized in the Jordan, Jesus said something mysterious to John: “This is fitting to fulfill all righteousness.” As his toe broke the surface of the water, the process of putting all things in right relationship began to quicken. Water, which had been previously perceived to be the agent of divine judgment on the earth, now becomes sacred and life-giving. Heaven, which had beforehand appeared to be sealed shut, now is torn open, and the dove of the Holy Spirit alights permanently on the Son of Mankind. We are not isolated individuals existing in sequestered cells. Rather, we are the sum of all our relationships. God becoming human brings harmony to all things in their intricate connections. If I look deep within at electrons flowing inside their atoms, I can say, “All my relations.” If I look outward into the infinity of space and I see the vastness of it all, and I sense the loneliness of my own existence, questioning who I am: I can whisper with confidence, “I am… all my relations.”
“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the Lord God is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.” Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation.”
by David Morrison
Jesus, you soaked yourself into the river of our humanity
so that we can be plunged into the river of your divinity
To make us one with you.
To make us fully human.
We give you thanks.
As Moses’ branch turned the bitter waters sweet
As you broke the river’s surface at your baptism:
So reconcile me to you in peace
So reconcile me to those with whom I’m not at peace
So reconcile all things
From the Breastplate of St. Patrick
“Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.”
*Banner image: Horseshoe Bend, Colorado by Tom Gainor from Unsplash (filtered by DM)