St. Matthew 3: 13 – 17

Jan. 7, 2022

13Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

14But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

15And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

16And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

17And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

“… in whom I am well pleased”. What would any of us give to hear God say those words about us? It’s a yearning within us, I think; something we’re born with and live with all our lives, though some people may never realize what, exactly, is missing from their lives. But it would be a close second to hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”. I’d be thrilled throughout eternity to hear those words.

As it is … we soldier on, doing the best we can. We try our hardest to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, knowing we can never meet the mark, but that the trying is part of the journey; part of the process. Every time we learn something new from Scripture, every time we put someone else before ourselves, every time we stop those thoughts that make us less than we should be before Christ, the closer we get to the kind of words we hope God will say when we meet Him.

Remember when we were little? Our parents would say, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. A valuable lesson for a child and even more important as we strive to live a good Christian life that is pleasing to God. If we mess up today, we vow to try harder tomorrow. We are, indeed, a work in progress and He can read our hearts and our desire to please Him. No genuine attempt to live a better life or be a better person is ever scoffed at by God. Who knows better the trials and tribulations of life on earth? He was here, our Emmanuel.

The common expression, ‘buck up, buttercup’, makes me smile. It reminds me that every day is a new beginning and we get another opportunity to please Him. We put on our sneakers to run the race and hit the road with the simplicity and joy of children going out to play. It’s a new dawn, a new day and maybe today we will accomplish something that makes God smile. Please, dear God – let it be so.

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