Baptism of Jesus. 12 January 2020

Vicar’s Reflection: Baptism of Jesus. [2nd of Epiphany], 12th January 2020

Baptism is about new beginnings. In the world of business or industry the terms ‘baptism’ or ‘christening’ are used to mark the beginning of a new venture or overcoming first difficulties (baptism of fire). We have been baptised into a new year with new possibilities, challenges and opportunities to face. The challenge of the new is that there is little to offer guidance on the right way. When Jesus approached John to be baptised by him in the Jordan, John was confused and reluctant at first. He knew Jesus, for they were related since Jesus’ mother Mary had visited John’s mother Elizabeth described as her cousin. John at the time was much better known than Jesus, yet John’s response to Jesus shows he acknowledged the younger Jesus as greater than he. Quite an admission in a culture in which the eldest was senior. Even at this stage Jesus was breaking old moulds, forging new realities. Psalm 29 vividly describes the unsettling effects of a storm, comparing them to the power of God. After the destruction of a storm there is the work of building anew. The new social realities we face in 2020 may seem like the wreckage of a storm. Our work of rebuilding will be challenging but we do have one who will show us the way. His words, and teaching and example; His Holy Spirit working in our hearts and minds; and the example of the saints who have gone before will be our guide. Happy New Year.

Alex Czerwonka

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