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Volume 36, No. 1

1/5/22 | Newsletter

The Sunday after Epiphany

Steve Graham

Sunday we will gather on the Sunday after Epiphany to celebrate the Baptism of our Lord, and our Baptism!

Luke states with simplicity that when all the people had been baptized Jesus was baptized, too. I like Robert Brearley’s understanding that Jesus presented himself for baptism as an act of solidarity with a world of sinners. Jesus simply got in line with everyone who has been broken by the wear and tear of this harsh world.

When the line of downtrodden formed in hopes of new beginnings through a return to God, Jesus joined them.

It just might be worth our knowing and remembering that Jesus got in line with sinners and was baptized with them.

When Jesus had been baptized, he then prayed. This brief glimpse of his life will be repeated as Luke reports that time after time the source of Jesus’ strength will be beyond him. Luke will identify that the Holy Spirit will encourage Jesus at every point along the way, even when the way becomes difficult.

Clarence Jordan gives this powerful shaping of this moment. “The sky split, the Holy Spirit in the shape of a dove came upon him, and a voice from the sky surrounded him, ‘You are my dear son. I’m proud of you!”

Christ’s identity is shaped by a God who loves him and tells him so.

We need to hear this affirmation from God, and we need to hear it from each other.

My friend, Ray Dykes, loves to greet you with this affirmation, “Hello, you warm and wonderful child of God!”

Sunday we will commission the Royal Lane Pastor Search Committee. We want to give them our affirmation and commit to them our prayers for their work in the coming days.