Reading: Matthew 3: 13-17
As Jesus is baptized the presence of God is made known. The heavens open, the Spirit descends, and God speaks. God claims Jesus as His Son and voices pleasure with Jesus. God is proud of His son. It is a good proud – proud of who He has become, proud of how Jesus lived His life, proud of who Jesus will become. This is what all parents hope for. All parents want to be able to say, “That’s my boy!” or “That’s my girl!” in conversations with friends and others. Parents do not long to say this because their child is beautiful or has a fancy car. They long to claim their child because of who they are. And so it is with God.
As each of us was baptized, we too are claimed by God. In baptism, we are brought into the family of God. Through the sacrament of baptism, we are identified or marked as a child of God. We are baptized into the name of Christ, making us a fellow brother or sister with Jesus. There is also an earthly component to the baptism. For the child’s immediate family, there is a covenant to raise the child in the family of faith. For the new extended family, there is also a role to play. Those welcoming the new son or daughter into the family are also committing to raise up a young Christian. From God on down to every member of the church, all have roles to play in raising this new child of God.
Beginning with baptism, we are part of God’s family. We are always a child of God, but with the sacrament others are acknowledging the relationship and the responsibilities. As family, we love each other no matter what. As family, we will help model, teach, and encourage one another. As family, we will correct and rebuke as necessary. As family, we will do all we each can to help God say, “This is my daughter (or son). With her (or him) I am well pleased”. May it be so this day and every day.