Good News for the Day, January 3, 2018
Christmas Weekday (206)
John—the Baptizer—saw Jesus heading towards him and he said, “Look there, the Lamb of God, the one who removes the whole world’s sinfulness. He is the very person of whom I was saying that, ‘After me there is coming a man who is altogether ahead of me; he means more than me.’ I did not know who he was, but the reason why I came baptizing in the water was that he might be unveiled to Israel.” John said more publicly: “I experienced the spirit—the Creative Change–come down like a dove from the Other World and stay there on him. I did not realize who he was, but the One who has sent me to baptize in the water told me, ‘On anybody you see the Spirit come down and stay—that is the one who will baptize—immerse people—in the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen it and I have said it out loud: He is the Child of God.” (John 1)
This scene makes little sense unless you are very familiar with the opening words of the Hebrew Scriptures “And the Spirit of God hovered over the waters.” The “hovering” word is that of a bird with nestlings. In Genesis, the “Creative Change” of the Creator is bringing forth a new creation, a new life, and a new world. John sees Jesus as our world about to be born—the removal of death-sin, and its replacement with a New Order of beauty, rightness, and freedom. The Spirit is the Spirit/bird of Genesis.
With the new year, the birth of Jesus now accomplished, you and I can re-start our lives, our way of life, under the strength and power of that same creative force.
The call here—the Good News—comes as a moment of allowing a creative change within you—SEEING—accepting—opening yourself to the Other World—the unexpected, the uncomfortable truth. You (and I) acknowledge that we need to change—and keep growing towards the world outside of ourselves. The ritual of Baptism is important as a step into that IMMERSION in the spirit—the outlook, the deep inner revolution—the cracking open of the seed, the death of what we were to become what we can be—as we spend our lives appreciating, learning from, and serving others.
The New Year is opportunity. You too are a lamb; give of yourself, your outer behavior—the wool you produce—time, help—to others—and find joy!