Bishop Mark Lawrence–Stepping from the Stable to the Jordan

How quickly they disappear””the greens, the wreaths, the poin­set­tias. Gone. Another Christ­mas comes and goes. For some it was sad and lonely. For oth­ers it was bright, joy­ous, even unforgettable””and yet all too short lived. Now in one short step a new year has begun. In the con­gre­ga­tions of the Dio­cese of South Car­olina we step litur­gi­cally into a new sea­son as well. Into the sea­son after The Epiphany and with it from Jesus’ birth to his bap­tism; we step out of the sta­ble of Beth­le­hem into the muddy waters of the Jor­dan. As the old spir­i­tual puts it, “The River Jor­dan is muddy and cold. It chills the body but not the soul. All my tri­als, Lord, will soon be over.” This speaks of a cross­ing over. Life is filled with many cross­ings and changes and in the midst of them it is good to remem­ber the great truths such as””“Jesus is the same, yes­ter­day, today, and for­ever.” The cul­tural trap­pings of the Christ­mas sea­son pass and in their place the waters of the Jor­dan flow and the Lamb of God comes to river bank for the Bap­tism of John.

This is impor­tant for us because the cross­ings and changes of life are like the poor ”“ they are always with us.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Baptism, Christmas, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Epiphany, Sacramental Theology, Theology