The moment of baptism for Jesus is an important turning point in his life. It marks the start of his public ministry, but also tells us a lot more about Jesus than we may realise at first. John’s baptism was about confession of sin and receiving forgiveness. Since Jesus was without sin, he had no need of John’s baptism – which explains John’s shock when Jesus arrived at the river. Jesus, however, chose to be baptised because he wanted us to know that he stands with us in our brokenness and sinfulness. He did not keep himself separate from us because we failed to meet his standards of holiness. Rather, he jumped right into the mess of our lives. He began by becoming one of us, and then he began to create a new community by inviting us into a different way of thinking, speaking, and being.

This means that Jesus’ baptism was not just an event that happened to Jesus a long time ago. Jesus’ baptism is an invitation that continues to beckon us today – to belong to a God-created, God-called community. And, if we choose to accept the invitation, we discover that we, like Jesus, become those who are called to stand alongside the broken and hurting, the sinful and wayward people of our world. And we are called to invite them, through our acts and words of grace, love, justice and challenge, to become part of God’s new community.

Our meditations will help us to hear and respond to God’s invitation this week.

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