The Baptism of the Lord
Mk 1:7-11
January 10, 2021

Wednesday, January 6, 2021, I re-experienced a wave of emotions that I had prayed never to suffer through again.

As I watched in real-time, mob violence unleashed on the Capitol of the United States of America, I felt the very same ache, deep in my heart, that hit me on September 11, 2001. Now, as back then, I am acutely aware of the cause of my distress. Hatred!

I think possibly the worst pain hit early in the siege. To the right/center of my television screen, in the middle of the mob storming the front doors of the Capitol, on view for the entire world to see, someone was holding up a large yellow placard with black lettering. The message was simple:

“Jesus saves!”

Throughout the day-long ordeal, other Christian symbols were visible. But, it was that big, yellow sign that someone had made on their kitchen table, or in their garage at home, that pierced my heart.

“Jesus saves!”

When our nation’s elected leaders were finally able to resume their duties, speeches were made. From both sides of the aisle, elected officials denounced what was repeatedly referred to as a desecration. I believe that a very egregious desecration (that might otherwise go unmentioned) was the use of the Holy Name on that yellow sign.

While the motive of the person carrying that sign is unclear, this much is certain: At his baptism in the Jordan, a voice from heaven introduced Jesus as God’s beloved Son…in whom God is well pleased. For that reason alone,

At the name of Jesus, every knee should bend. (Phil. 1:10)

No knees bent as the lawless mob moved forward, carrying that yellow sign with it.

We mark the conclusion of this Christmas season with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord. It would behoove all Christians to consider that, among the many things that God the Father found pleasing about God the Son is the peace that Jesus has brought into the world. Peace is the Lord’s great gift to the world. “Peace” is exactly how…

“Jesus saves!”

This is also a good time for us to renew our own baptismal vows, recommitting to sharing the peace of Christ. This is a good time to reflect on what God expects of us, who have been privileged to share in the Lord’s Baptism.

We are called to overpower hate with love.