Sat, 12 January 2019
(Is.40:1-5,9-11; Ps.104:1-4,24-25,27-30; Ti.2:11-14,3:4-7; Lk.3:15-16,21-22)
“Heaven was opened
and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him
in bodily form like a dove.”
“Beloved: The grace of God has appeared.” Here we see its clear evidence in the Baptism of our Lord. Here He who “baptize[s] [us] with the Holy Spirit and fire” has the Spirit descend upon Himself. In our stead He places Himself (as He shall on the cross), and by the Spirit’s presence upon Him, we ourselves are made clean. This Jesus, this Son of God, shall “save us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” the Spirit which is united with His own, which is His own.
And so does He who “rules with a strong arm” enter our midst. And what does He say? “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated.” He who is “clothed with majesty and glory,” who has “constructed [His] palace on the waters” and made “the clouds [His] chariot”; He who “travel[s] on the wings of the wind” and “make[s] the winds [His] messengers, and flaming fire [His] ministers”… He comes begging the prophet: “Give comfort to my people.” O brothers and sisters, “the kindness and generous love of our God [has] appeared” and our souls have been “justified by His grace.” And now we are “heirs in hope of eternal life,” life that is in His gentle hands alone.
O Lord, “when you send forth your Spirit, [we] are created and you renew the face of the earth.” And so this day you send your Spirit forth; upon your Son your Spirit rests, and remains. His prayer – which is no other than our own – you answer, and witness to us that He is the Chosen One. Upon us, too, let your Spirit rest. As “in [your] arms” you gather “the lambs,” so let us be gathered with your Holy Lamb and know the Spirit’s power upon us, that to us, too, heaven will be opened, and we may enter there in the wake of our Lord. Let the waters of heaven pour upon us. Alleluia!
Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Roger Fortney.
Music is "Audio Track 8" by Carie Fortney; used by permission.
O LORD, be pleased with us as you are with your Son
that we might be blessed with the Spirit as He.
YHWH, send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth. The Spirit has descended upon your Son and through Him has come to all who are cleansed in His blood. By His grace we are made whole; because of your love, all our crooked ways are made straight, every valley filled in and every mountain made low, and we are called into your kingdom with your beloved One. O let be fulfilled in us the Good News you bring this holy day!
Our salvation is at hand, for Jesus has come to John at the Jordan and made clean the waters in which we find rebirth. Now with the Holy Spirit and fire we are baptized. And coming up from the waters we hear your voice, O Father in Heaven, calling us to your side, calling us to share your glory with your only Son.
O let us give thanks to you, dear God, for paving our way to eternal life! Though you are clothed in majesty, to us poor creatures you come to pour your Spirit upon us through Christ our Savior. Alleluia!