Sunday Reflection: The words we all long to hear.

Today is set aside in the Revised Common Lectionary as the Day of Baptism. Like all liturgial days there is something comforting in the familiarity of the day, and the readings. We can almost recite these readings by heart; we have heard them, even our young children have leard them numereous times in their lives. So there is nothing new to learn? WRONG, the more you scratch the surface, the deeper the dive, whether you are using traditional forms of exegisit or a mindful method of reading and colouring in, there really is a new way into these passages each time they reappear.

Teaching your children to read the Bible and leading by example in the home is immensely important but that can be held over to another post or found in previous writings of mine.

Every child wants to hear the words of Luke 3:22b “You are my Son, the beloved; with you I am well pleased” (NRSV), Many pschologists insist that parents need to tell their children they are loved. And if God is our role model then as parents we have a great example to copy here.

I do have some questions though, I wonder why God choose this moment after baptism to say it? Some commentators claim that it is for our sake the words were spoken, as there was an audience to the words.

I wonder then if as parents we are only to praise our chidlren in front of others? I hope your answer here is no, many pschologists would tell you that a child needs to genuinely hear these words as for him, not for the praise of other parents for the show of love from a parent. They are useless if the child does not know it to be a truth for themselves.

This reading is Not a parenting advice column from God.

To read this passage exclusively through the lens of the child in the passage is to miss the deeper truths of the verses. (and no I don’t see that arguing against a Child Theology lense is counter to many things I have said over time, it is one form of lens to look at the passage, not THE ONLY lens with which to examine a passage).

And here comes my point.

We need to hear many voices, we need to see with many lens, to fully unpack God’s word.

I wonder what you saw in this passage? What did a younger family member see? or an older family member see (and that can be a genetic or social family or your congregational family)?

This year I came to realise that Jesus may not have been in the water when this event happended. Luke tells us he was praying when the holy spirit descended. He had been baptised, past tense. (my poor Biblical Greek can at least work that out).

So these special days and readings come around each year, but they are never the same. Examing the passages communally or individually, using different methods of exegesis or lenses, opens our eyes to what we failed to see the last time we encountered these readings.

If there is a parental message in this passage, it is to teach our children to read God’s word, so they can wonder themselves when you are not with them.


Wendy L.

I am writing this on Wurundjeri land and wish to pay respect to all Elders, past, present and emerging.


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