Picture Sermon – Baptism of Christ


John the Baptist – although a bit weird – is one of us. Sand and gold.

Jesus – God in human form. Have made him of brown paper too – but he just needed loads of glitter because people did see his glory. The blue glitter is the water of the Jordan which I imagine coming alive because God was standing in the middle of it.

Jesus subjects himself to a Baptism of repentance even though without sin. He puts himself in our place. He does this time and again throughout his life with hungry, dirty and sometimes very silly people. Most especially he did this on the cross – putting himself in our place.

There is the Spirit like a dove – also sparkling and alive, descending to bless and heal – I imagine the blessing falling on all those standing and watching. Everyone seemed to know something wonderful had happened.

Then there was the voice of God, which presents makers of pictures something of a problem. How do you draw a voice. I’ve portrayed instead the message – and that message was one of LOVE.

In fact, if you stop to think, Love is everywhere in this picture – Jesus, the Spirit and the God of creation are all proclaiming LOVE in this story. Even the glory seeping in around the edges and setting the river afire are aspects of the love God has shown us by giving us a miraculous and beautiful world to live in.

God proclaims his love – my beloved with whom I’m delighted, the Spirit pouring blessing down and Jesus himself loving us enough to be with us, to stand in our place and ultimately to die for us.

This is the heart of the Gospel – that God loves us, delights in us, is with us.

What is our response – to live a life of love? Or to destroy the creation or other people. Or just not to care.

This week may we know the love of God.

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