Good News for the Day, January 8, 2018
The Baptism of the Lord (21)
John the Baptist proclaimed: “”Someone 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.” 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)
All four Gospels agree on few events in the life of Jesus. They agree, though, that something changed at His Baptism by John. The sequence got confused—but they agree that John says Jesus is more significant. that a dove and voice from heaven label the event, and that “heaven” is said to open, or be opened somewhat suddenly.
Be a bystander. You see the arrival of this man from Nazareth. John and Jesus talk, the more famous one realizing and saying out loud— “This One is more important than me!” His humility. For his own act of humility, Jesus requests Baptism—to mark the start of his New (public) Life and the end of his old one. So much dawns on you.
It dawns on you that if Jesus really is “more important,” a whole new era is starting—You are witnessing the arrival of the Promised Messiah! In the mutual respect, love and humility between the two men, you and on all on-lookers realize—absorb—that heaven has started. Now you get what heaven and messiah-ship really mean—not a military and political conquest, not some deadly warfare or historical greatness, but humility, graciousness, and respect. Heaven has arrived—maybe only an opening, but its reality—the Good News—is now seeping into your mind and soul!
The child-like simplicity and lowliness, the caring and quiet gravity of Jesus –His Spirit–stirs in you the Message that here is a Real—THE—real child of God. You hear that message not from the sky, but from the dawning heaven penetrating—like sunlight—your own heart. The Childhood of God is what is Real. “This is My Beloved Son,”—your whole self registers and calls on you to listen. A magnet, He is calling you to change your way of Life—to share this gentle, creative, and powerful Spirit of God Himself!
You can now accept that you, too, are loved by the Creator of the Universe, that you too can live up to it, and see your brothers and sisters and care for them as this Father and Son do. That’s the Spirit!