The Baptism of the Lord
Read the Scriptures:
Identify what has been happening in your life this last week. What carries over as either a “heavy issue” or as something positive that will influence your decision making process in the coming week.
Prayer: Lord please cleanse my mind, allowing me to focus on what the text is saying. Amen.
Did I make a decision or did I only express an interest? For me what does it mean to decide?
The world is experiencing a precarious time. Each time I read from the prophets I am moved to say yes. I believe in the betterment of society, of the betterment of myself but then I look out the window and I see change happening unchecked. Am I a part of the change or am I a passive observer.
This week I was confronted by myself. I have made some very significant changes but were they the right decisions? What voice am I listening to? And then it is as if a 2×4 catches me on the side of the head saying wake up.
The prophet is very clear about words that help set guidelines. These words arise from both the personality and the intentionality of God. And then a voice comes into my mind and says “so what?” At what point do generalized understandings become personalized directives or a commissioning? At what point is the lever sprung to release anyone from behavior arising from the personality or understanding of God? Yet by looking at our world it is as if the spring on the lever holds no more tension and God has become an innocent bystander to a chain of events called “life happens.”
I was recently a part of a Bible study where people talked about everything from soup to nuts. When the time was over the group joined hands, thanked God for what they had learned and left. The Bible had been alluded to in passing but ony in passing and then to defend a perspective being espoused.
The writer of the book of Acts speaks to an activity, an event that is contrary to passivly allowing words to fade into the woodwork. Here once again the story of Jesus becomes God’s activity to give flesh to the desires of God.
Matthew’s words bring us to a place in the life of Jesus where Jesus clarifies that any decision has to be based on righteousness. Is it the right thing to do? The world has recently been led to understand that as long as something is legal it is acceptable, even if the law was written without concern for what is right. What is acceptable then arises out of personal interest instead of the personality of God. Jesus then steps into the water. Jesus made the decision to do more then think about what he needed to do. He made a decision. He did not just express an interest. It was then the heavens opened up. It was then people saw and heard an expression of God’s affirmation. Jesus did the right thing.
This meditation for me was prompted by a question. It is a personal question.
Did I make decisions or do I only express an interest? For me, is the Gospel about a decision or is it a moving story that informs my decisions without holding me accountable?