Thursday, January 08, 2015

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Mark 1:7-11

In the course of his preaching he said, 'After me is coming someone who is more powerful than me, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.' It was at this time that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. And at once, as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit, like a dove, descending on him. And a voice came from heaven, 'You are my Son, the Beloved; my favor rests on you.'

God’s pleasure

I have made my choice for my word of the year--joy. This is what I will seek each day and in each situation. I will try to bring the joy that is the strength of the people of God to each encounter. I will focus on this one thing.

A memory sticks in my mind from seven or eight years ago. I had just preached at the seminary chapel where I was on the faculty. A visitor approached me and told me they had enjoyed my sermon, but they had one suggestion: “You need to smile.” My message had been joyous, but my face did not match the meaning of my words.

Christ calls us a life of knowing the joy that fills and spills from the heart, as from an overflowing reservoir. So each day that I come to these keys and with each person I meet, I will seek the joy of the Lord that I might enter God’s pleasure.

I will seek to know and show the pleasure of the Love who exalts in giving itself away in blessing.

The Holy One looks upon Jesus at his baptism and blesses him, “You are my son; my favor rests on you.” There is joy in this for God … and for Jesus.

In this blessing, Jesus knows and feels his belovedness. He is treasured by the Wonder from whom all things come. Love and blessing fill his heart as he knows who he is, knowing, too that the blessing of God shall fill and follow him wherever he goes.

And the Father, the Loving Mystery who is from the beginning, ever-seeking to live in us, He, too, lives in joy.

Seldom do we think of the joy or divine pleasure of God, but this blessing of Jesus is joy in the heart of God. It is God’s pleasure to give and bless, to heal and love. The movement of blessing from the divine heart bears a rush of ecstasy from the divine heart to ours.

When we know and share this joy--speaking it from our hearts, sharing it in our actions--we place ourselves in the middle of this joyous flow, and we know … the joy of God for which we are made.

As our lips curl into a smile, the Holy One is well pleased.

Pr. David L. Miller

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