The Gospel reading in worship on Sunday was from Mark chapter 1. It highlights the simple and yet very profound nature of the Story of Jesus: “The beginning of the good news about Jesus…”
Simple and yet so profound. Good News. Interestingly enough Mark doesn’t include a Christmas account in his Gospel. He starts at the beginning by quoting the Old Testament, and jumps right to a full grown John the Baptist getting ready to baptize a full grown Jesus. No biological birth from Mark, but a birth of a different sort. A baptism. Jesus, being baptized by John in the Jordan, came up out of the water and the heavens opened and a voice called out, “You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
This account is Good News for us. Jesus was born to unite with sinners in the flesh. He was baptized to unite with sinners in the Spirit. Through both we are given new life in its entirety. We’re not going to be disembodied spirits floating through eternity because Jesus was born, died and raised in the flesh. We will too. But, we’re not just bodies who return to the ground either. Our existence is more than just the physical. There’s more to us than meets the eye!
Jesus leads the way for us. We are born in sin, but reborn by Baptism into new life. This is the Good News that is at the heart of Christianity. It begins in baptism, and ends in eternity. Mark redefines the lifecycle of humanity. It’s no longer a birth to death experience! Life goes from birth, through re-birth, through death and on into eternity. That’s news that’s really GOOD!
Dear Jesus, you were born in a manger, and baptized in the Jordan to unite completely with sinners. You united with sinners so that we could be united with your death and resurrection. Thank you for all you’ve done for us and our eternal life! Amen!