Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com
Matthew 3:11-17 (NIV)
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with[b] the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
The Baptism of Jesus
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. 16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased.”
Today’s reading might sound familiar. This is Matthew’s account of Jesus’ baptism. On Sunday, we read from the gospel of Mark. In both we see God speak decisively about his son, “‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’”. (v.17) Before we rush ahead with what happens next in the life of Christ, let us sit another day and consider the impact of this moment. Jesus, God’s only son, comes to a world that is struggling to follow God. Through compassion and grace, Jesus calls his people back, recounting to them how they are chosen and dearly beloved children. With authority and passion, he seeks to correct their leadership and turn their eyes back to the author and creator of all things. Let it be so for us today. Let us sit and consider that we too are God’s holy and precious children. We too are called back, again and again, to God alone.