Sunday, January 10th, 2021, Baptism of our Lord, Beloved
Genesis 1.1–5, Psalm 29, Acts 19.1–7, Mark 1.4–11

The temptation from this Gospel is to talk about how we are like Jesus, called beloved by God. But there is more to this. What do we do with being called beloved?

The idea of a new world, new creation seems to be the way forward. This bringing the feelings of hope, expectation but also fear of the unknown.

The image of water of living water comes to mind, and maybe I am reading too much in this from Psalm 29; 3 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders; *the Lord is upon the mighty waters.

I am thinking of Revelation 22; 1; Then the angel[a] showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life[b] with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

The idea of new life from the living water seems like a new idea and something we need to take on as a new creation from the Spirit.

Yet we see it as an old idea from Genesis 2:10; A river flows out of Eden to water the garden,

So this is about an early understanding about who we are. So the thought of us as both new and old comes to mind, so is there another way of understanding baptism?

The idea of being beloved is that we are created as beloved and yet of course not perfect; it is something God is recognizing because has already created.

Now I am going to move from water and talk about light and darkness and the Spirit.

It is as if we are like a room that has no light and is just shadow and dark and grays.

But when the light of the Spirit comes into the room, we see the colours and the beauty, the furniture and the paintings on the walls.

There are many ways God shows us that we are valued by God. It doesn’t matter if you think of it as being called beloved; or having the Spirit within or filled with living water, or you feel it is a new sensation just beginning, or a continuation and addition to who you already consider yourself to be, the question becomes, what are you going to do now? We could try to convince others that our understanding is the right way, or we can realize that we can understand and feel differently about all of this, but in essence we can all moving in the same direction. We can continue or Spiritual Journeys together, challenging and supporting one another.


The Gathering of the Community

Video of Last Week’s Service