As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, "I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." Luke 3:15-17,21-22
I just came up from the water, literally. This was the first time since I had my concussion that I had permission from the doctor to swim. And a kind woman arranged for me to swim, all by myself, this afternoon. I started out slowly, not wanting push my luck. I felt rich and blessed as I swam from one end of the pool to the other. I felt the water surround me and hold me up, buoying both my body and my spirit. Water is so much a part of me and returning to the water, however briefly is always a gift to me.
On this Sunday as we celebrate the baptism of Jesus, let us remember those words from above. They are so completely tied to the water and to our baptism. "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." We are made children of God through our baptism, whether there was little water in the font or a great big ocean. God has lifted us up, raising us from the bondage we barely understand, to a life of beloved children welcomed at all times at God's table. May we celebrate the riches we have, the blessings that shower down like rain, and may we dance in God's perfect light, knowing we are loved, wanted and set free.
Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.