In the Epiphany, we considered the identity of Jesus. However, we only really considered it through the eyes of others. Every child is born with expectations, but perhaps none more than Jesus. I mean, my dad wanted me to be good at golf, but he didn’t have angels singing to him about it. The reality is that none of us can live up to the expectations of others, regardless of how noble or well-intended, because those expectations have nothing to do with us. At some point, our lives have to connect to who we really are, to the image of God within. As the story is told by Luke (3:21-22), baptism was that moment for Jesus.
Luke is the only canonical gospel to include stories of Jesus’ upbringing, but it is very limited. There is the story of his circumcision with the songs of Anna and Simeon. Then Luke zips ahead to the 12-year-old Jesus taking it upon himself to be educated in the temple in Jerusalem. Next thing we know, Jesus is thirty, standing in the Jordan River being baptized by John. A curious thing happens: the skies open up and Jesus hears a voice that says: “You are my child, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
Unlike Matthew, who frames this as a public announcement, Luke has God addressing Jesus alone. This is a private moment, a moment in which a voice from heaven and a voice inside speak in unison. There is an unmistakable clarity. We don’t know exactly what Jesus did for the first thirty years of his life, but after this moment, with the certain knowledge that he belongs, that he is loved, and that he is good, he begins his work.
Please join us this Sunday, 11am at Kidd Springs Rec Center, as we talk about what it would be like to have that kind of clarity, what it takes to find it, and what we might do with it.
Grace and Peace,