Scripture Reading: Mark 1:9-15
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ –Mark 1:9-11
I am a nester. I like to keep my stacks of things in my immediate vicinity which requires me on occasion to shuffle through paper trying to find a specific document. The problem is that if I carefully file them away elsewhere, I can never remember how I filed them. Routinely, though I must face my stacks, organize them and in many instances throw several items away because they are no longer relevant. I am sure that is true of those things that I have transferred to a file cabinet.
We also collect a lot of clutter in our souls holding on to attitudes and opinions that were short-lived phenomena no longer having relevance but taking up space that could be put to better use.
The sequence of events in our scripture today suggests that Jesus faced the same problems. He is first washed clean in baptism after which the Spirit descends and he is identified as one with whom God is well pleased. He was in a sense cleared for takeoff when he is immediately challenged with temptation. The implication is that constant communion with God is crucial to maintaining our readiness for service in God’s kingdom. I think this includes routine clarifications as well as more in-depth times of examination and refreshing of our souls.
Prayer: Lord prepare me, to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true
And with thanksgiving, I’ll be a living, sanctuary, oh for you* Amen
*From Lord Prepare Me, to be a Sanctuary see at https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/29786117