January 13

Luke 3:21-22

“And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’” vs. 22b

It didn’t take long for early Christians to search out the presumed baptismal place of Jesus and erect churches as close to the Jordan as they could. Early pilgrims could come to this site and remember their own baptisms with prayers and a dip in the water. Presumably it would also be a time for rededication and renewal. As a result of recent archeological discoveries there has been a renewed interest in reclaiming the original Jordanian location as a pilgrim destination. Several Christian denominations have built beautiful sanctuaries not far from the river just north of the Dead Sea and a little east of Jericho. Pilgrims and tourists are coming in ever-increasing numbers. Hopefully they will be reminded in their visit that Jesus’ call came with a powerful word of affirmation. “You are my Son, the Beloved.” Think of it! The Jesus Journey begins with a word of love! And so it is with everyone who walks with him. No matter when we were baptized, or how, or even if we’ve never been baptized before, the journey of faith begins with an “I love you,” from God. And as our lives continue in all their glory, splendor, suffering, sadness, and delight that steadfast love will be present until we draw our final breath. It’s the one thing that we can count on in our crazy, unpredictable, increasingly complex world. The love of God never ends!

Thought for the Day: Where do I experience the love of God?

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