Pomp and Circumstance

One of my favorite parts is the first ten minutes where the Lion King holds up his son for all to see and every creature bows down to the new Lion Prince, Simba. I don’t think I have ever seen such pomp and circumstance in the animal world- but I like it.

This week we jump from Christmas, where we celebrate Jesus as a baby boy, directly to Jesus’ baptism, where he officially begins his earthly ministry.

At the end of his baptism, the Bible says that the heavens opened, the Holy Spirit descended as a dove and a voice from heaven appeared and said, “You are my son, whom I love, with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22).

For me, this is the Lion King moment. The naming of who Jesus was for all the world and all who gathered at the river that day to be baptized by John.

In the Jewish tradition the “naming ceremony” is often performed within the first month of the babies life. No one is to know the name of the child until this ceremony. Many people still practice this ceremony today.

Unfortunately, Jesus was not afforded this ceremony as he was on a camel escaping to Egypt due to threats of genocide by the dictator at the time. Jesus did not receive the ceremony or the pomp and circumstance.

Instead, in a river in front of strangers, God takes the time at his Baptism to tell the world publicly who is his- God says- “He is my son!” For Jesus God’s declaration did not need pomp and circumstance…the most important message was proclaimed…..Jesus was God’s son. Nothing else was needed.

At each of our Baptisms, God also makes this pronouncement over us publicly.

Each of us is God’s daughters and sons, who God loves and is well pleased.

There is nothing you can do to escape this title…God has given it to you because God created you and loves you.

Today, as you read this at your desk or on your phone, know that God has claimed you and is pleased with you. Today you need no ceremony or special water….you only need to know and accept the deep truth of God’s unconditional love for you, His daughter and son! You are God’s Lion Prince!

May God’s claim on your life bring you new life this day!

See you Sunday,
Pastor Audrey