LECTIONARY BAPTISM OF CHRIST (Epiphany 1): A voice (Matthew 3:13-17)
How fitting that the Church,
Should so publically be tearing pieces off itself,
Off its members,
Of all inclinations,
When today we remember the rite,
At the centre of this institution,
One of those awkward signs of grace,
That tears a hole in eternity,
And strips back the veneer of the seen world,
To something sincere,
Such a sacrament that turns eyes and lives,
Towards a new destination,
Cross-shaped and requiring devotion,
And perseverance and hope,
This sacrament that batters the barriers of life and death,
Mixes them like paint,
And spreads them afresh across a canvas,
Filled with a kaleidoscope of creation’s colour,
How fitting that as we the gathered crowd,
Remember the water from which Christ rose,
We forget the unification that that water makes,
All dragged from death to life,
And in the newspapers letters pages,
Dragged back into death again,
Living God wash us clean,
That we might live the life,
Of those who have died and been birthed again.
From The Heaven came word.
As Christ rose from baptism’s water.
And God was pleased.