Saturday 6 January 2024
1 John 5:5–13. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem – Psalm 147:12–15, 19–20. Mark 1:7–11 / Luke 3:23–38.
When I was a teenager, my close friend was baptised. Afterwards, he described the sheer joy and ecstasy he felt. Yet when I was baptised some months later, my experience was different – more a gentle serenity than an overwhelming surge of joy. This led me to consider, was I yearning more for the highs associated with the baptism over the transformative essence of the baptism itself?
When John’s followers stepped into the water, they sought cleansing and renewal. In the Jewish tradition, immersive cleansing was a popular symbol of purification. But why should God’s son even need cleansing? Jesus’ baptism, we can assume, wasn’t about purification, but a divine moment: God proclaiming his approval of his Son and marking the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. It serves as a reminder that our bond with God is not merely about fleeting emotions but a deep alignment with his divine purpose.