My father was part of a big, post-depression family. With six other brothers and sisters, and his mother’s two youngest siblings, there were plenty of hands to work on the central Oklahoma farm. But with all those mouths to feed, everybody had a part to play in the daily chores to help put food on the table.
In my younger years, I can remember riding to Oklahoma City for the annual Walker Family Reunion. With nine children in the Walker family household, my family of only three children seemed small indeed. But imagine the matriarch of the Walker family with two younger siblings and seven children of her own, and then to have all of them bring children and grandchildren to the annual reunion. The crowd was close to a hundred people, and certainly no house was big enough to hold us all. My grandmother would arrange for the city park on S.E. 29 th street to be our meeting place. The reunion lasted for a couple days, and activities, stories, and food were in no short supply. It was truly a Walker family annual affair.
One of the biggest family events in the church are baptisms, especially those of children. Rows of immediate and extended family pack the front of the church, just to get a “front row” seat at the joyous event. Cell phone cameras capture the moment, and smiles and tears are on the faces of the proud parents.
Do you think God was proud of His son when He was baptized? Do you think family was present? If you answer yes, then you’re correct on both.
Jesus’ cousin was in the Jordan River, baptizing new believers in repentance of their sins. All the while, he clearly indicated one would come after him who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Here was John preparing to baptize a member of his own, extended family; Jesus.
Remember when after Jesus came up from the water? Scripture tells us the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove and landed on Him. Then a voice from Heaven spoke; it was God the Father. He told everyone in attendance that day He was proud of His Son – “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”
The Holy Trinity was present in one place at that moment, with family and friends looking on, in amazement I’m certain. If there was any question whether or not those being baptized were doing the right thing by following John’s message, it was erased with the clear audible and visual presence of the Trinity.
If you have been baptized, whether you can remember or not, you became a new creation in Christ. You followed the example given by Jesus thousands of years ago. This was the beginning of His ministry which would eventually lead Him to the cross. This week, remember your baptism, and once again pledge to Christ to follow His example and begin your ministry, no matter what that may look like, for Him!