Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bethany Bullet - January 12, 2010

According to the Christmas hymn, Do You Hear What I Hear?

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king
Do you know what I know?

Prior to his knowledge, the shepherd boy himself had to learn what he had come to know. That happened in the preceding stanza,

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy
Do you hear what I hear?

What the lamb had heard was the voice of God as big as the sea singing a lullaby to the baby Jesus at His birth.

That voice was heard again in our text (Luke 3) at the Baptism of Jesus when it declared (verse 22),

"You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

Of course that voice didn’t fall silent after that Baptism. In fact, each and every time one comes up out of the waters of Baptism, “A voice as big as the sea” sings, “This is my beloved child, whom I love; with whom I am well pleased.”

Yes, at your baptism God said the same thing of you that He has said of Christ.

True, we came to the water radically different than Jesus did. The reason John the Baptist tried to deter the Lord from being baptized was that He had no sin to repent, no guilt to wash away, no taint of corruption to be cleansed - He was perfect, holy, righteous, and pure when He came to the Jordon River to be Baptized. Our coming to the waters of Baptism was not the same. We came weak, frail and fallen. We came bearing the load of sin, the weight of original guilt, as well as actual transgressions. Jesus came already perfectly united with God while we came to be restored to God. Jesus came to have put upon Him His role as Savior and Redeemer; we came to receive His salvation and redemption. While we came to Baptism totally different the same thing was heard at each – a voice as big as the sea declaring us to be His own children with whom He is pleased.

The other day, one of our teachers at Bethany told me about something else that might be the same at our Baptisms as it was at Jesus’. She stated that the water cycle provides the possibility that the water in which you were baptized was the water in which Jesus was baptized, or walked upon, or calmed with a word…you could go on and on with any Biblical story about water. Rather intriguing thought isn’t it? Of course, it would stand to reason, that the water in which you were baptized was the water I cannon-balled into when I was 10, or body surfed in when I was 18, or put my first golf ball into a few decades ago. However, the later is not nearly as romantic as the former I realize, but no less potent.

Whenever and wherever, you were baptized, regardless of the ‘waters cycle’ – the cycle of the ‘voice as big as the sea’ continued and God declared you to be His own beloved child. Then sent you to invite others to hear what you have heard and to make known what you know.

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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