Author: Chad Hyatt
Reflection: v. 1, ‘Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness’
There’s no sense in talking about Jesus being tempted unless we talk about Jesus being baptized first. It is the Spirit that came upon him in those muddy waters, after all, that leads him and is with him in the wilderness. So let’s recap: Jesus came out of the water, the heavens opened, the Spirit came down, and a voice from heaven spoke over him. ‘You are my beloved Son; in you I find my delight,’ the voice says. That’s who Jesus is. That’s his identity. And whether we believe it or not, that’s ours, too. No, of course, neither you nor I are likely to be confused with the second person of the Trinity. Happily for the universe, I can say with confidence we are not god. But all the same, you are a beloved child of God. And just as God was pleased with Jesus, God delights in you.
Trust me, I know that’s maybe one of the hardest truths for us to accept, acquainted as we are with our own brokenness and so often consumed with all the ways that we fail to measure up to our own ideals—let alone the expectations of others. But this inviolable belovedness is the essential truth of our existence. Being a child of God, like every other human being made in God’s image, isn’t a decision that you or I or anyone else gets to make about ourselves or others. That’s God’s choice, my friend, and it has already been made about us, long before you or I came to be. We belong to God, we are claimed by God, and we will never be forsaken by God. Period. End of story. Whatever else you may know about yourself or claim to be true, that is the truth that will not change. That is your identity. That is who you are.
Prayer Oh, voice from heaven, you call us at every moment your child, at every instant, beloved. By your Spirit, help us to trust in your unending love for us.