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Creation and the Baptism of the Lord (Genesis 1:1-5, Mark 1:4-11) by Pastor Youngjae

posted Jan 23, 2015, 11:40 AM by Bowmansville UMC   [ updated Feb 21, 2015, 10:30 AM ]

What does the story of creation have to do with that of the baptism of Jesus?  The clue would be found if you come to see baptism as a re-creation.

Ecclesiastes says, “There is a time for everything.   There is a time to be born and a time to die.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)  In our lives there is a beginning and there will be an end for all of us.  However, the Bible says that there is a chance to be born again.  Some people have this rebirth experience in their life time, but not all.  Jesus told that we need to be born again, or otherwise we cannot see the kingdom of God: “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3)

How can we be born again?  Do we have to enter a second time into our mother’s womb to be born? (John 3:4)   Oh, no, that is not what Jesus meant.  Can we be born again if we have a baptism?  Ideally “yes,” but we know that not everything is ideal.  Then, how can we?  Jesus said, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” (John 3:6)  We need to be born again spiritually.

In the creation at the beginning the earth was formless and empty and it was dark and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (Genesis 1:2)   The English expression “hovering over” is a translation of a word that means “incubating” in original Hebrew.  Thus, the Spirit of God was holding the chaotic earth as if a bird sits on its eggs so as to hatch by the warmth of the body.  How long does a bird have to sit on eggs?  I don’t know.  It depends.  Most of birds do that for 2 to 3 weeks, but some for a month.  That must not be an easy thing to do.  For 24 hours sitting on eggs for 2, 3, or 4 weeks isn’t going to be a fun thing to do.  They may not be likely to eat well.  They may not be able to sleep well either. They may have to take turns with their partners. 

Before we are born again, our lives may be formless, empty, and chaotic.  We are entrapped in this shell of sinful life, but the Holy Spirit is hovering over us and holding us to give warmth to help us hatch from the shell.  How long does it take for us to hatch?  I don’t know.  It depends.  If one has hardness in one’s heart it may never happen.  I tried to induce and make it smooth and quicker, but it never worked as easily as I expected.  Sometimes I am down because I feel that my job doesn’t work at all.  But, you know what?  I am okay because I know that it is not me but the Holy Spirit that does the work and gives birth.  

It is not just with the water but with the Holy Spirit that we are baptized and that we may hatch from the shell.  John the Baptist proclaimed that there came the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.   His name is Jesus.  When you believe in Jesus in your heart we are born again with the Holy Spirit.  God created you, but he wants to recreate you in Jesus.

When you are out of the shell you become a totally different being just as the content of an egg is totally different from a baby bird that comes out of the egg after hatching.  A transformation occurs.  The old is gone and the new life begins.  “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is in a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Jesus was baptized to illuminate the rebirth.  When he was submerged into the water he showed that he would die and when he rose back from the water he showed that he lives in his eternity.  We too are buried with him in baptism and raised with him through our faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. (Colossians 2:12)

The Spirit of God is holding you in her arms.  Break the shell and come out.  You will be a new creation in Christ.  “Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy” (Leviticus 19:2)

In the beginning God saw what was created and said that it was good.  When you are truly baptized with the Holy Spirit in Jesus Christ we will feel the Spirit of God hovering over you like a dove and hear the voice, “You are my son/daughter, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11)   May you be the Joy of God!  Amen