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Being there with John and Jesus

by davesandel on January 3rd, 2013

Being there with John and Jesus

Thursday, January 3  2013

The Tenth Day of Christmas

John 1:29

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.”

In The Gift of Being Yourself, David Benner suggests a fifteen minute quiet time each day.  Here is how he structures it:

  1. First, take your journal and find a quiet place where you can sit undisturbed.
  2. Select a Gospel account of one event in the life of Christ.  After a brief prayer inviting God to allow you to imaginatively enter this experience and encounter Jesus, spend five minutes daydreaming on the passage.
  3. After thanking God for the gift of time spent with Jesus, ask for help in reflecting on your day in order to better discern Divine Presence during it.
  4. Allow the events of the day to replay before you.  Accept whatever comes into focus, no matter how trivial it initially appears to be, as a gift from God.  Ask for help to discern Divine Presence in the experience.
  5. End your time by thanking God for gifts received during this process.

I imagine standing on the shore of the Jordan River after being baptized myself by John, and seeing this exchange between John  and Jesus.  There is a mist over the river, and I’m looking into the sun, so it’s hard to see clearly.  John’s voice rings out over the water, though, as clear as a bell.  His words are hardly what I expect to hear.  He is announcing the presence of God in this young man, who others tell me is his cousin.

There’s a kind of a hush, all over the crowd of pilgrims and baptized Jews and onlookers.  Jesus’ words to John are quiet, and I can’t hear them.  But then Jesus places himself in John’s arms, John sweeps down into the water and baptizes him, just as he did me.

Jesus comes up sputtering in the water, just as I did.  And the crowd claps for him, just as they did for me.  We are all smiling.  These moments of water baptism are for us all, for our remembrance.

John said that Jesus “takes away the sin of the world.”  I sit down in the sand, the sun warming my skin and drying my clothes.  I don’t feel the dirtiness of my sin, but I know how close that feeling is.  And I am more curious than ever about Jesus.  Who is he?  And how will I respond if he looks into my eyes the way he looked into John’s?  What will he say to me?

I have always thought I needed words to say to you, Jesus, and now I see that what I need instead are ears.  You are the one with the words.  You know me, and I want to know what you know.  You are good, you are God, you are my Sweet Savior.



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