9 About that time, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10 While he was coming up out of the water, Jesus saw heaven splitting open and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down on him. 11 And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.”
One of my favorite things to say to Benji, my 9 year old son, is, "you are my son, with whom I am well pleased...sometimes." I apparently say it enough that even when we talk about him being my son in a serious moment, he will finish the statement...even when it's not an appropriate moment to say it. What can I say...he is my son.
But often, I think about how awesome it is to have a son.
I will never forget the day when Miranda and I found out that we were going to have a boy, and the day that he was born was one of the proudest days, if not the proudest day of my life thus far. I had a son! We were going to throw the baseball together, go to football games together, learn how to shoot and hunt together; it is going to be awesome!
In the Gospel of Mark, which is actually the shortest of all the Gospels, we read this story about Jesus' baptism and his subsequent sending into the wilderness. We read about Jesus coming seemingly from nowhere, and being baptized by John in the Jordan River, and when that happens, all heaven breaks loose.
We hear the story where the Spirit, like a dove, descends and that a voice from heaven pierces the sky and the voice from heaven says, "You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness."
God was pleased with his son Jesus. God was happy because his son was walking the earth and to fulfill all righteousness, he was following in the path that God had laid out for him.
This is the first moment in the Gospel of Mark where we see the Trinity at work. God the Father, the source of all life, God the Son, the one who had come to act in the world on our behalf, and God the Spirit, who is the power behind every Good thing that God does in this world and beyond. If there were ever a perfect moment in history, it would be this moment.
But once the moment is over, its time to get to work.
We often experience moments like this that seem to be perfect, and then when the "high" wears off, we fall back into the routines of this life. But the reality is, when we have an encounter with Christ, that is usually just the beginning of something big.
In our Class Meeting Bible Study, i used a quote from John Wesley that goes like this: "God works so I can work. God works so I must work." In other words, God works in my life so that I am capable of doing good things, and God works in my life in such a way that I cannot help but to WANT to do good works.
In this story, God is at work in all three phases; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is the beginning of the work the culminates in Holy Week.
As we continue in this season of Lent, I hope you know that through Your Baptism, you hear the words of God speaking to you; I love you, and I am pleased with you, but not because of anything you have done, but because God is the source of your life, Jesus is the bridge between you and God, and the Spirit is constantly working in your life to bring you to a fuller relationship with him.
Let us pray.
God of us all, we praise your Holy Name and give you glory for all that you have done, all that you are doing, and all that you will do with, in, and through us. Help us to continue to observe a Holy Lent, that we might reflect on our brokenness and need for a savior. Help us to prepare for Holy Week as people who recognize it is you all along who are working to move us toward perfection.
In the name of Jesus we pray.
Growing up in the United Methodist Church, I have always had a passion for ministry. Now, I have been called to serve the people of Llano at an awesome place called Lutie Watkins Memorial!