Baptism of the Lord

13 Jan 2019 by SHRCChurch, Comments Off on Baptism of the Lord

If one listens carefully to today’s Scripture readings, one will hear talk of the release of the Holy Spirit, foretold by the prophets, realized in the Baptism of Jesus.

We may think of Baptism as simply the erasure of original sin and the official taking on of a name (Christening), but, in reality, it is far more than that, and we need to constantly be paying attention to what that more is in our daily lives.

In the Genesis story of creation, we hear that God initially breathed His Holy Spirit upon the world, to bring it into existence. We are familiar with what human beings did to God’s plans for us. And so, in an effort to start over again, God chose the people Israel to be a leaven for the entire human race. The Old Testament is full of indications that the Jews, although God’s elect, were not quite up to that task. And so, Jesus came into our midst to be the new Israel, bringing about a new creation, ultimately for all, with the new Israel as the leaven.

The key to understanding today’s feast, is not that Jesus needed Baptism to forgive original sin.  Rather as the firstborn of the new Israel, Jesus’ baptism is a sign of the release of the Holy Spirit to bring about a new creation.  Said another way, this Baptism of the Lord represents a new way for human beings to live their lives, in union with the risen Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We, who have been baptized, need to live ever conscious of this destiny!

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