Baptism of the Lord: God’s Never Ending Love for Us

I never asked, but am pretty sure that no one saw the heavens open on the day of my baptism. Nor did I notice it happening at any of the hundreds of baptisms I witnessed as a music minister at St. BaptismCharles Parish in Edmonton. And yet, that seems to be the central message of today’s feast. God so loved the world (John 3:16), and God continues to love each of us. It was the great liturgist Mark Searle who affirmed that Jesus, who is God, held each of us in his mind as he suffered the agony of the cross. The Baptism of the Lord affirms that each time one of us is incorporated into God through baptism, the heavens do open, and God does say those same words, “This is my beloved….” Even infants know and respond to God’s love by knowing and responding to those who love them. Born into a Christian home, they are included from their earliest days into the love of God made visible in Christ, made visible in their homes. These people around them, as did the Father at the baptism of Jesus, all say in God’s name, “This is my beloved…” And that is one reason why we can and do baptize infants, why we want them to know from the start that human love is part of God’s love. Oh and one thing more: God’s love is not just for our baptism day. Keep an eye on the skies – the heavens continue to open! Listen for the voices that tell you that your are beloved of God.

-Glenn Byer

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