As soon as Jesus was baptised, he came up out of the water. Then heaven was opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and landing on him. Then a voice said from heaven, ‘This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased’. (verses 16,17)
Read Matthew 3:13–17
Until you become a parent, it’s difficult to understand just how much you can love someone. This extraordinary love is built of patience and sacrifice, the grottiest details of everyday life, and the most intimate experiences of being human. It overflows with hopes and dreams and yelling and forgiving and days when it all seems too hard, and other days when a single smile is worth waiting a whole lifetime for. You hurt when your child hurts or when they fail; you burst with pride when they excel. You feel all they feel, only more.
That’s why, when children grow up and leave home, there’s such a mixture of feelings. You know you must set your child free to explore life for themselves, but at the same time you want to protect them from every danger, just as you always have. You’re glad to have time to yourself, but you miss their company, the million funny things they do.
Until you become a parent, it’s difficult to understand just how much God loves you.
God was proud of Jesus—‘with [him] I am pleased’—and loved him so much that ‘heaven was opened to him’. Yet God was prepared to let Jesus go, because of his love for you. God was prepared to let his Son die, because of his love for you. That’s extraordinary. Only a parent could do that. And that’s exactly what your Father did, out of love for you.
God, my Father, I don’t deserve your love, I can never repay your love, I am humble before your love. All I can do is love you back as best I can. I do. Amen
by Jonathan Krause, in ‘Living Water for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2001)
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