Monday, January 5, 2015
The Baptism of the Lord (B), January 11, 2015 - Mark 1:4-11
It's not a repentance sandwich!
I know; it seems to be.
Three weeks before the birth of Christ
We heard from John the B.
And now it's three weeks on, and he
Appears around the bend;
Good God! With Christmas, didn't such things
Meet a joyful end?
But Jesus, now grown up, just smiles,
And to the water walks
To show that we've abused this word
With our religious talk;
It's not that you've been bad, and must
Be good, for goodness' sake,
But can your pride, your ego and
Your fear, you finally shake?
Repentance, I am glad to say,
Is never the end game,
God doesn't groove on all our sin,
Our failures or our shame.
Inside us all, our essence is
The grace by which we live,
Such grace, the Spirit still proclaims,
Such grace, this voice still gives.
Scott L. Barton
[I got some good ideas and even phrases for this poem from a sermon by my good friend and one of the best preachers I know, the Rev. Sarah Buteux. You can find the sermon here:
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”