THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
The season after the Epiphany always begins with the story of Jesus’ baptism. This story is significant for at least two reasons. The first is that it reveals very clearly that Jesus is the one who reveals God’s glory to us, and it proclaims, loud and clear, how God viewed Jesus – as God’s beloved son. The second significant feature of this story is the way Jesus was empowered to be the reflection of God’s glory that he was. The outpouring of God’s Spirit was the start of Jesus’ ministry, but it was not just for Jesus. The book of Acts shows God’s people receiving similar empowerment by God’s Spirit, as Jesus had promised, and many of the epistles encourage us to be filled with God’s Spirit. Like Jesus, if we are to reflect God’s glory to our world, we will need God’s Spirit to strengthen and guide us.
As dramatic as the experience of baptism was to Jesus, Matthew’s telling indicates that it was only Jesus who saw the dove and heard the voice – which means that it was actually a moment of hidden glory. No one else would have been aware in that moment of how God’s glory was being revealed in Jesus’ life. In the same way, we do not need to draw attention to ourselves, or find places of prominence to reflect God’s glory. We simply need to allow God’s Spirit to fill every corner of our lives, and then God’s glory will shine out in gentle, quiet, but transforming ways.
This week we open ourselves to God’s Spirit so that God’s glory can fill every part of our days.
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