Monday, January 8, 2018

Down in the Jordan with Jesus

“I have witnessed the affliction of my people, so I know well what they are suffering. Therefore I have come down to rescue them.”  Ex 3

God in Christ is always, always with us. And today in this final scene of our celebration of his Nativity, we see him descend into the soggy truth of our sinfulness. Down there in the waters of the Jordan River, Jesus is baptized.

Why is Jesus there of all places? He has nothing to repent of? Why does he offer himself for a cleansing baptism of repentance and conversion of heart? Perhaps it simply that he who is Love could do no less. Only the logic of love can explain this action of Jesus, or any other one of his for that matter, for Love always lowers itself. So it is, that he who did not know sin became sin for our sake to rescue forever us from the trap of sin.

Let us go down then into the waters of repentance with Jesus. As we confess our sinfulness, we will hear the Father remind Jesus and us - “You are my beloved.”

Plaque with the Baptism of Jesus, ca. 1150–75, South Netherlandish, Champlevé enamel, copper alloy, gilt, 4 x 4 x 1/8”, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Used with permission.