Good News for the Day, January 6, 2018
Christmas Weekday (209)
This is what John, the Baptizer, was saying all along: “Someone far more substantial than I am is coming after me. I am not good enough to get down and untie the laces of his sandals. I have been baptizing—immersing you with water; he will baptize—immerse you in the Holy Spirit.”
At that time, it was the right time Jesus came down from Nazareth, Galilee, and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water John observed the Other World being suddenly opened—and the Divine Power, sweet as a dove, settling on Jesus. A voice came from the Other World, “You are my beloved Child; I am so pleased with you.” (Mark 1)
Th traditional translation says: “…the heavens being torn open….” Don’t look at the sky—this is just an image. Think the way they thought—that this image captures something very real—hard to define—but very real. Another world. A universe where wonder, peace and joy, order and fixes, compassion and forgiveness mark a way of life, an unearthly condition, an –almost—unbelievable difference. The old spiritual fabric of space-time is starting to yield to permanent and awesome love. It is Spiritual. It is Internal. It is vastly more real than something you can see and touch.
It is so wondrous it is beyond ordinary words. Something raw and new as the Big Bang leaks into our tired old world. It is like the discovery of fire, the invention of speech, the marvel of birth itself.
John immersed—drowned—people ritually to a death and raised them out of the water a “new person.” This new “immersion,” though, soaks into your soul and kills there diseases of bad habits, addictions, unrealized sins, selfishness and self-centeredness. You rise a sweet person, a creative person ready to feed others, to serve, enrich, grow, and accept all this radiance of discovery and acceptance. There is a convulsiveness—a tearing and ripping as you leave that life and enter a new one. You are becoming a New Being with this kind of attitude. And that IS Good News.