In this Sunday’s readings, we are told about God’s favored one, about the single leader that God means to choose to redeem the world from sin. Here is what this redeemer looks like:
Thus says the LORD:
Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
upon whom I have put my spirit;
he shall bring forth justice to the nations,
not crying out, not shouting,
not making his voice heard in the street.
a bruised reed he shall not break,
and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,
until he establishes justice on the earth;
the coastlands will wait for his teaching.
And here is what his followers look like:
In this way we know that we love the children of God
when we love God and obey his commandments.
For the love of God is this,
that we keep his commandments.
This leader then submits to John’s baptism, for the forgiveness of sins. John diminishes himself before Him. And He humbles himself before John.
This baptism of the Lord is a theophany, a disclosure of God’s own being. It says to all (who will listen) what God’s leadership is like. What the only leadership that matters is like.
As I write this reflection, insane lunatics encouraged by the President of the United States are running rampantly and destructively through the chambers in which our representatives are doing their basic duty to accept and affirm the outcome of an election, regardless of their party. Some of these lunatics and, in some twisted sense, the President himself claim to represent or serve the narrative explained above.
They and he do not. Period. The end.