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Baptism of Our Lord

Today’s Readings: Genesis 1:1-5, Acts 19:1-7, Mark 1:4-11, Psalm 29

John proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mark 1:7-8

I continue to be deeply distressed by the attack on the Capitol last Wednesday and the ongoing rhetoric of President Trump and others which played a significant role in motivating it. Yesterday, I was even more distressed by several reports that similar violent attacks are being discussed and planned on various social media platforms around the Inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris. If those reports are true, and if they were to come to pass, it is nothing short of terrifying. Nothing in this violence reflects the Way of Jesus, whose baptism by John we remember today. Jesus’ baptism was his inauguration into a ministry, not of violence and rage, but of compassion, mercy and healing. The Holy Spirit does not move us to hate one another, but to acts of servanthood and love. When we were baptized into Christ, we were baptized into the Way of Jesus, and called to join him in his work. My prayer on this Sunday morning is that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, all of us, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, can pull together in the days and weeks ahead and find ways to work together against the hate and rage and violence that is tearing apart our nation, and even our own souls.

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