Thursday, January 5, 2012

Baptism of Our Lord Year B - Mark 1:4-11

Laughing Dove - Range includes Israel
Mark 1:4-11
I’ve always thought the Holy Spirit descending like a dove was an odd way for the Holy Spirit to appear. Some Dove lovers may disagree but I don’t think doves make a very graceful descent. There’s a lot of flapping involved and their landings look a little unsteady to me. Of course the theological connection with baptism is the dove’s association with purity and innocence and the dove of the flood who returns with the olive branch to let Noah know all is well. (Matthew 10:16). On the other hand I like the idea of the Holy Spirit coming down like a dove as opposed to a Red Tailed Hawk (which when circling overhead makes the chickens in our yard very nervous) So the Spirit descends on the Son this way and that with a lot of flapping and not like a ballistic bird missile with claws at the ready. And the Voice from heaven declared what John the Baptizer and everyone else had been waiting for. “When the time had fully come…” is how Paul describes it, the Beloved born of Mary was born again in water and word. That’s good news for those of us who in remembering our baptism (even if we can’t) find a sure and certain hope that God comes to us as a Dove and not a Raptor and as far as God is concerned we too are beloved.

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