The very first words Jesus speaks in the Gospel according to John is a question: “What are you looking for?” Most of us would be able to come up with some kind of spiritual shopping list for Jesus: Prosperity, health, forgiveness, assurance of life after death. The question is, do we really know what we want, what we need? The Jesus presented in John’s gospel knows his followers better than they know themselves. God in Christ, the Word made flesh, invites us to “Come and see.” Maybe what we will see is more than we can imagine. Maybe what we can see is not just God standing before us. Maybe in this Messiah we will see ourselves, our real selves, for the very first time.
Sermon on the Baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:4-11)
We all tend to categorize and organize our lives so that they are easier to understand, easier to control. We put our stuff in boxes and totes. We put other people in boxes and categories based on stereotypes and assumptions. We even try to do it with God. We keep God in a box of our own making; we like God in heaven and waiting for us when we die, rather than messing with us in the here and now. At the baptism of Jesus, God is revealed in Christ as one who will not submit to life in a box we have made. Instead, God rends the heavens, breaks down the boxes and destroys the barriers that keep God at bay. Christ invites us to join him in the water that we might be… just be.