Has anyone ever told you they are proud of you? My parents
did a good job of modeling this behavior over the years.
Even now in my adulthood they tell me how proud they are of
my parenting skills, professional work, desire to give back, and
willingness to grow as the person God created me to be. They are
proud of me and tell me not for my ego but because I am their
daughter and they love me.
Jesus receives heavenly confirmation after his baptism by
John. Jesus has come from Galilee and requests that John baptize
him. John hesitates, believing he is unworthy of this act. Yet
Jesus convinces John. As Jesus comes up from the water, a voice
from heaven speaks, the clouds part, and the Spirit descends on
him from above. Unlike Mark and John, in Matthew’s Gospel,
all who are gathered hear the heavenly voice. And we who read
this text listen in as well. Jesus is God’s chosen and obedient
son, baptized by John to fulfill all righteousness. The heavenly
voice reminds us of our own naming and commissioning to
obedience in our life with Christ.
Isaiah 42:1, which we read earlier in our week’s reflections,
connects to our Gospel reading today as a prophecy, “Here is my
servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to
the nations.“ We as Christians affirm the fulfillment of Hebrew
scriptures through God’s sending of the Son.
Whether or not your earthly parents verbalized their pride,
God offers new life in Christ and chooses us to live as obedient
daughters and sons. May we revel in the knowledge that we are
those in whom God’s soul delights.
Thank you, Holy Spirit, for allowing me to hear you and be made new in you today. May I live out a life of obedience in Christ. Amen.
Many will read the Isaiah text and identify the servant with Jesus, the one God enables to do the work of justice and transformation. The psalm announces the glory of God, a king powerful over the turbulence of nature and whose voice is a transcendent revelation. Matthew’s story of Jesus’ baptism joins the themes of servant and king. The baptism inaugurates Jesus’ ministry in which he proclaims God’s righteousness. Peter’s speech in Acts reminds us that Jesus’ baptism carries with it the promise of baptism in the Spirit.
• Read Isaiah 42:1-9. In this new year, what promises of God do you want to breathe in?
• Read Psalm 29. When the storms of life rage, how do you listen for God’s promptings?
• Read Acts 10:34-43. To whom do you need to proclaim the promises of Jesus Christ?
• Read Matthew 3:13-17. How does your understanding of your own baptism encourage you to live as an obedient child of God?
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