The voice of the Lord is upon the waters, the God of glory thunders.
According to the Psalmist, the God of Glory thunders. And since those words precede our reading of the Gospel today, it’s tempting to hear something of that same rumble in the words God speaks at the Baptism of Jesus in the river Jordan. Thunder, though, aint exactly what you want to hear when you’re in the water, is it?
Thunder clears the pool.
We hear those words from the Twenty-ninth Psalm every first Sunday after the Epiphany, a day when we always remember the Baptism of Jesus. Those words are meant to make us all tremble, if only a little, as we remember that strange day when a sinless man – Jesus – descended into the sins of many, as if repenting them all.
Today it’s Luke’s turn to tell that story. And Luke has his own unique way of telling it.
Matthew and Mark have it Jesus entered the River Jordan all alone, coming wet from the water, the heavens immediately opening, the Spirit alighting on him like a dove, with a voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved son and with him I’m well pleased.”
Luke gives us pretty much the same words and the same holy dove but in his telling, Jesus isn’t the only one getting baptized that day. Apparently, while John the Baptist was waiting on the arrival of Jesus, he was busy doing what he did: baptizing whole crowds of people.
You get the feeling Jesus may have had to stand in line for his turn in the river, and that when he finally did enter the water, there were others already there kicking up the mud, whole hoards of broken people coming alongside him in the murky water. Read more