(Following up on yesterday’s post),
John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. People said, in word and deed, that they had sinned, that they were sorry, that they wanted to show that by being washed.
And here came Jesus, without sin, wanting John to baptize him.
It was a way for him to identify with us. To be humble. And it was a starting point for the public part of his ministry. Which would go from that moment to 40 days in the wilderness. He, who had all power, deferred in that moment to the power of the Father. And to the actions of John holding him under the water for a moment.
Some of us, actually, feel powerless. We cannot fix this life. I don’t think we can fix anything. Not ultimately. Because our bodies all eventually quit.
We still can want more.
- “I have so much more to do”
- “I have so much that I’ve not done”
- “I still want to ask her about …”
We don’t like being weak. We don’t like being sick. We say things like, “I’m getting better. I’ll be able to do more.” We, many of us, want to be able to do. We want to be self-supporting, self-sustaining, independent.
Which aren’t bad things.
But this is also true.
God loves weak people and not for what they will be able to do.
I often hear, “God kept me alive for a reason.”
Which is often followed with, “I’m trying to figure out what that is.”
I wonder whether it’s more simple than we make it.
I’m guessing that maybe the reason God keeps us alive in this world, the reason God prepares us for life in the next, is that he loves us and simply wants relationship.
He invites us to
- To say thank you.
- To talk with him.
- To learn from him.
And maybe the reason the church calendar jumps from the visit of the kings to the baptism, from a 2-year-old to an adult starting his public work, is so that early in the year, in the midst of our struggles to measure up, we discover that he is with us and loves us subversively and humbly. And models that life through his baptism.
From a meditation for Sunday of the Baptism of Jesus, reflecting on Matthew 3:13-17.