Baptism Names Us & Claims Us

baptism of our lord

Are you longing to hear God’s voice? What would it be like to hear God call you by name? For many it seems that God spoke only to people long ago and far away, but now in this time and place God’s voice is much less clear and less audible. Perhaps we cannot hear the voice of God because our world is full of noise or perhaps because we tune out this heavenly summons with our daily rush, not taking the time to quiet ourselves, our minds, our inner voices. We can use this time after Epiphany to clear out a corner of our lives for quiet prayer, meditation, or centering. Maybe then we will be able to hear . . . to sense . . . to listen.

In our listening we hear God say, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43).  Isaiah spoke these hopeful words to a people in exile – cutoff from the people and places they loved.  That sounds not unlike what some of us are experiencing with pandemic protocols being heightened again with this surge.  Perhaps we too need such a word of hope.  God spoke similar words to Jesus in his baptism, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”  And believe it or not, God speaks such words of hope, love, lineage and redemption to us in our baptisms, calling us daughters and sons!  In this season of epiphanies, today’s miraculous encounter with the living God immerses us in the sound of God’s voice and bathes us in God’s baptismal promise. All who are splashed by this water gasp, cry, exclaim, sigh, and sing. Let all who have breath, praise the Lord!

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