“And Jesus, when He had been 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.” Matthew 3:16
Baptism of Our Lord Sunday – and another chance to lead worship. Having experienced some heavenly direction in song selection, I was excited about the day. Yet on these mornings there are nerves. Whether performance anxiety or fear of my hands and voice failing today’s calling, I don’t know. Probably both.
I walked out in the early morning, breathing in the crisp, cool air of a January morning. I see the hints of a glorious sunrise and a single star peering out. Arriving at church I see the same star and another beside it. Mars, Venus, perhaps. But a welcome sight.
I had just written a song last week about no shining star to follow. Then through the quiet morning light, beyond the shadows of power lines and pecan trees, above the warm glow of church windows, the star appears.
The Pastor’s message was about how the heavens seemed to close when sin entered the garden of Eden, and it reopened upon the when Jesus emerged from the Jordan River, freshly baptized.
The music began well and my voice was surprisingly warm for a cool morning. Then the “froggies” showed up in my throat, my mind began to wander, and my hands were sure to follow.
The pastor was teaching the children about the baptismal font. I took a drink of water mixed with a touch of lemon, and it soothed my vocal chords and my soul. It struck me as a baptism of sorts.
I prayed that God’s spirit would flow through my fingers and voice to say what He needed said. “Not for me, but for Thee.”
Do you feel refreshed stepping out of a bath or shower, especially after a long day’s work? Some quiet time to enjoy the water pouring over your head. Another baptism of sorts.
Many of us were baptized as infants and don’t remember much. Some as children or adults with great fanfare, and deservedly so. But is it just a one-time thing? Being accepted into the heavenly family is one and done, but what about after that?
Our opening hymn was “Great is Thy Faithfulness” and a line hit me:
“Morning by morning new mercies I see”
Jesus reopened heaven to us.
We should look for heaven’s opening at every turn. I fail to see it as often as I should. I need a gentle (and sometimes NOT so gentle) nudge sometimes.
“All I have needed Thy hands have provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness Lord unto me”
The heavens opened up this morning.
I was re-baptized and refreshed.
And as always
Blessed in Great Measure