Being Spirit

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased. Luke 3: 21-22 (New Revised Standard Version)
For most of my life I have been a people-pleaser. This might be because I am a first-born daughter or maybe it is because my dad modeled this because he never said “no” to anyone. While it is nice to please others, for most of us it is even more important to make our parents proud. In these verses, we see God unequivocally and publicly stating how pleased he is with Jesus. There is also the Holy Spirit that comes as a dove, emphasizing the “I am well pleased” statement. It is difficult to imagine what someone in the crowd that day might have thought, but there is no doubt that all attention would be on Jesus and it would be hard to misinterpret the message.
During the holiday season, there is a lot of fun and joy, and there are simultaneously obligations we fulfill primarily to please others. This may not be wholly bad as Luke goes on after this passage to detail Jesus’ancestry through Joseph – highlighting his connection to other people. Other people and our relationships to them matter. However, in these verses, God being pleased comes first – even before the detailed description of Jesus’ earthly family’s heritage. As Christians, God has also claimed us as his beloved through the gift of the Holy Spirit, who will be with us always. What might it look like this holiday season if we put pleasing Him in the forefront, before we work to please anyone else?
Lord, remind me that I am your child, your beloved. Help me to live into pleasing you before anyone else.
Jeanette – Cohort 4: Inspire. Ignite. Invite.
Calvary Lutheran Church, Angola, IN