Sun, 8 January 2017
(Is.42:1-4,6-7; Ps.29:1-4,9-11; Acts 10:34-38; Mt.3:13-17)
“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.”
And so He anoints us all in the baptism our Savior has wrought. As Jesus humbled Himself to be baptized by John, so must we bow our heads before Him and receive holy baptism at His hands. As He has laid down His life for us, so must we lay down our lives for one another. As “He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil,” so God is with us to do the same.
“The Spirit of God descend[ed] like a dove and [came] upon Him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’” So Matthew recounts the Baptism of our Lord. And how similar is the beginning of our reading from Isaiah: “Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am well pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit.” The chosen one of the ages now walks amongst us, the Spirit of God upon Him. His justice now extends to the ends of the earth, calling all into His blessed confines. None who come to Him does He reject. The “eyes of the blind” He opens, the prisoners He brings “from confinement” in the sin and darkness of the dungeon that is this world to the heavenly light of His presence walking among us in sacred flesh. “In every nation whoever fears Him and acts uprightly is acceptable to Him,” for He loves all.
And so should we not sing out in praise of the glory of the Lord to which we are all called as did David at the completion of the tabernacle of God? For here stands the true Tabernacle, here stands its fulfillment… before us is God who calls us not only to look upon but to enter into His doors and dwell within Him in His heart, in His bosom – one with His sacred flesh and blood. The law is now written on our hearts, not only pages of a book; now the Spirit speaks to those who remain close to Him. Now we hear the “mighty” and “majestic” “voice of the Lord… over the waters”: “the God of glory thunders.” “In His temple all say, ‘Glory!’” And should we not “give to the Lord the glory due His Name”? Does not our cup overflow as Peter’s to declare the salvation that comes at the hand of our God?
Jesus has come. The Spirit is with us. Go now in the Spirit and power of God.
Written, read & chanted by James Kurt; produced by Carie Fortney.
Music by Carie Fortney; used by permission.
O LORD, may your Son, our King,
bring your merciful justice to all who dwell in darkness.
YHWH, your mighty voice is over the waters, declaring the glory of your Son to a people in darkness. Your Spirit is upon Jesus to open our eyes to your glory here now in our midst – and what should we do but praise you?
He comes humbly to us, bearing our sins and bringing peace to our troubled souls. And so, now the flood cannot overwhelm us; now we are released from the prison in which we had been trapped for so long. Now, O LORD, your will is accomplished and all are called into your holy light.
O let us be baptized with Him and so become as your beloved sons! Let us, too, hear your voice speaking your blessing over us. Fulfill all righteousness among us this day, let your work be accomplished among men – let us be known as your children. O LORD, let us be acceptable to you!
Glory to you, O God of all glory! May we be pleasing to you as is your Son. Let your surpassing justice be done.