We are born to give delight to God, like Jesus, with Jesus, in the power and presence of the Spirit.
– Megan McKenna “We Live Inside a Story” p. 108
The readings for the The Baptism of the Lord (Mark 1:7-11) cycle B can be found here.
The scripture scholar will tell you that Mark leaned heavily on the Jewish scriptures to frame the baptism of Jesus. Borrowing from Psalms and Isaiah Mark paints a picture of Jesus that the early community would have immediately recognized. The context of the king and suffering servant were a big part of the Jewish faith.
Behold 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.
– Isaiah 42:1
I will tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to me, “You are my son, today I have begotten you.
You will hear a lot of discussion about baptism and repentance this Sunday. I would like to talk about the voice of God.
Gospel readings that feature the voice of God will bookend our Sunday readings in the time between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday.
This Sunday Jesus hears the voice of God as part of the baptism. Before Ash Wednesday we will read the story of the Transfiguration where the voice of God will be heard again.
In our life the greatest help we have is to be able to hear the voice of God as we go about our daily activities.
We are surrounded by blessedness. We are beloved. The voice that spoke to Jesus saying “You are my beloved” speaks to us in that same word.
But of course it takes time to learn to hear and trust that voice. It’s natural to harbor the notion that if you or I ever actually had an experience of God like the one Jesus had, we just might pray more, go to church every Sunday, and live a more faithful life. But that gets everything backward. For Jesus, living the faith came first. Jesus was first a practicing Jew, doing the things Jews did. That’s what brought him to the Jordan River in the first place. And there the moment could happen when he knew God’s love for himself.
– The Very Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd III
The great cleric and mystic, Jean-Pierre de Caussade, explains that in every moment we can count on God to guide our steps. As an explanation he tells us that the more concerned that Isaac became as they approached the location of the sacrifice the more Abraham trusted God.
If you take one thing away from this homily it should be that we need to take our life lesson from Jesus. We need to live our faith and learn to hear the voice of God in everything we do.
God accepts us as we are. Our faith in God should allow us to hear God’s voice. During these days between the Epiphany and Ash Wednesday we have an opportunity to practice listening to God.
I pray that you learn to hear the voice of God in everything you do.