Wednesday, January 9, 2019
“Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened.” [Luke 3:21]
One of the hazards of the Christian liturgical calendar is that Jesus grows up all too quick. We are not given much time to linger at the manger, especially if we include the Matthew texts, which catapults us into the reality of our power hungry world. This coming Sunday, we find ourselves at the Jordan, with people streaming to John the Baptist for the baptism of forgiveness. Of course, Jesus shows up, too. But, wait, Jesus is without sin and not in need of forgiveness. Why, would he come to the Jordan? Why do you think Jesus came to the Jordan? I suggest it is to demonstrate that he is in solidarity with us, just as Apostle Paul said to the Philippian Church, “Christ Jesus, being found in human form, humbled himself.” Jesus did not wield his power, for he did not regard his equality with God as something to be exploited. What about us? How do we wield our power? Do we consider ourselves better than others? Would we have gone to the Jordan, if we thought we were without sin? In our world power is often wielded over and against, rather than with the other. How might we be in solidarity with those who are seeking forgiveness and healing from their brokenness?
Merciful God, your mercies are new every morning. Every day is a new day for us to begin again. Yet, I confess that my mercy and forgiveness is conditional. Forgive my hardened heart and help me to live by example the prayer that you taught us, “And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.” Amen.