Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"I need to be baptized by you...!"

I'm pretty pumped! In two days we leave for our first ever vacation to a warm place in the middle of winter. The only time every year that I even remotely think about being on a sunny beach is during a long cold winter when it sounds so good. It's gonna happen, Lord willing, and for fifteen days! It's been a long time since I was so excited about traveling and taking a long vacation. I have been looking forward to this for a good while now.
The last couple of Sunday's we have been in Mark 1 looking at John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus. Talk about longing to see something - have you ever wondered how John must have felt as he looked up and saw Jesus walking toward him to be baptized? He'd spent his life preparing to be a preparer! He had a clear sense of purpose as he proclaimed that the Messiah was coming and he was preparing the way for him. He knew Jesus - they were related, and probably spent time together on many occasions during their thirty years of growing and waiting for the right time to start their ministry. To carry out his task, John lived a life of self denial and hardship. Once he began his ministry there was total commitment and focus, even to the point of disregarding food, clothing, and political pressure. He longed to see the Lamb of God step forward and begin his ministry of saving the world.
Can you imagine John standing waist deep in the river Jordan, urging people to change their lives and get ready for the coming of God's Kingdom, and then finally seeing Jesus standing on the shore, waiting his turn to be baptized by John? John knew who he was and he felt unworthy to be baptizing Jesus. He'd already said he was unworthy to tie his sandals, and now he was supposed to baptize him - the Lamb of God?
Talk about a mixture of emotions? John was filled with excitement to see all his dreams taking place. Then there is the thrill of seeing God's plan coming together, and the satisfaction of knowing he had done his job. But there is also the humility of knowing he must decrease.
The joy of seeing Jesus changes how you look at everything. One of these days Jesus will be meeting us at the river Jordan - the one we have to cross to be with him. I hope we will all be as excited to see him as John was.
Now that's a trip truly worth looking forward to!

1 comment:

dr said...

I like that comparison of Jesus meeting John at the river and us meeting Jesus at the "River Jordan."