Partakers of the divine nature

Partakers of the divine nature

In nations where the Epiphany is celebrated on the classic date of 6 January, the Baptism of the Lord is commemorated on the adhering to Sunday, 8 January in 2023. The proximity is fitting simply because the baptism was anciently an intrinsic aspect of the manifestation of the Lord in his incarnation: the word “epiphany” in fact means “manifestation”.

The a few synoptic Gospels trace the commencing of the ministry of Jesus to his baptism in the Jordan. For that reason, enable us start our reflection at the resource of that river that is equally a feature of the landscape and a position of sacrament and image. The Jordan rises in the heights of Mt Hermon and flows south, moving into the Lake of Galilee among the historic villages of Capernaum and Bethsaida. For the Psalmist, the dew of Hermon is a fount of blessing. The river leaves the Lake at the southern conclude and carries on its extended winding journey of 360 kilometres to the Lifeless Sea it is a resource of daily life in a dry land.

Perhaps Jesus adopted the valley of these lifetime-providing waters in his journey south to be baptized. But John, with his prophetic perception, suggests, I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me? Some of the Fathers of the Church describe that Jesus does not enter the waters to be cleansed, but by moving into, he sanctifies the component of h2o for all time as the instrument of Christian baptism. In that Trinitarian second he is anointed by the Spirit and embraced by the love of the Father also, he will enable us, in the phrases of 2 Peter, to develop into partakers of the divine character.

But if drinking water is a supply and image of lifestyle, it is also a resource and image of loss of life. There are the awful floods, the surging ability of the ocean, the tsunamis. The Previous Testomony acknowledges this ambiguity. The Psalmist, even though wondering at the sea, extensive and broad, with its transferring swarms previous counting, acknowledges at the similar time the monsters of the deep. The fantastic monster Leviathan is a image of chaos, condition and destruction, and probably also of those deep, darkish locations within just us in which we dread to enter. God asks Position, Can you draw out Leviathan with a fish hook … will he communicate to you soft terms? Plainly not!

The baptism of the Lord in the Jordan anticipates our baptism due to the fact it seems to the indication of Jonah who, swallowed up by the Leviathan, is regurgitated to new lifetime. So way too, at the finish of his ministry, the baptized Jesus will enter the maw of death, to arrive up quickly from the h2o. And so do we in baptism. We go from the tyranny of Leviathan and Egypt, via the waters of demise to new everyday living.

And a ultimate assumed: the Scriptures trace at a thing I find deeply consoling: our private Leviathans will not be destroyed. Alternatively, they will be in some way tamed: while they may not sing smooth text, they will be monsters you designed to participate in with.

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