“And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.” vs. 16
According to the gospels, Jesus’ ministry began with a divine encounter just following his baptism. We don’t know his frame of mind or intentions when he entered the water–that remains a mystery–but we do know what happened as he emerged from the river. As Matthew puts it, the heavens were opened to him and he saw the descending Spirit of God in the form of a dove. It was an incredibly powerful experience, a vision that changed the direction of his life. In that moment he knew that he had been loved and chosen by God. Filled by the Spirit he went into the wilderness to pray about his response to the call, and, after 40 days of meditation and testing, emerged to begin his transforming ministry. Not many of us have experiences that are even remotely similar to that of Jesus, but some do. From time to time we hear their stories, how in a moment of prayer and reflection they felt touched by the Spirit and filled with a sense of the Divine Presence. While those powerful times don’t come to most, we have all received that same call to serve and love, and on our good days we will similarly feel the enriching nudge of the Spirit–and we will be transformed!
Thought for the Day: How does the Spirit of God come to me?