This week the church also celebrates the baptism of our Lord.
(Jesus, in case you needed a reminder)
And that's a big deal for a number of reasons:
1) The act of ceremonial purification for the sacrifice that Jesus would shortly become
2) The idea that His washing in baptism ties us who are baptized into His cleansing holiness
3) The name and concept behind this blog comes from the event that occured as Jesus was stepping out of the Jordan River...
Mark 1:9-10 (NIV)
9At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
There He is!
Our quiet little dove, the Holy Spirit.
Other than the many times when the Holy Spirit "comes upon" people in the Bible, there's really only one other time when He arrives in such a boldily form - at Pentecost. Then He comes as tongues of flame and in a rushing wind that fills the house... but this time, there's just that simple little bird.
All four of the Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) are very precise in their mention of this avian visit. With the exception of Mark the others all make it very plain that He came in bodily form or physical form... it wasn't just some illusionary fire-bird coming to rest on Jesus' shoulder - the Holy Spirit was really there!
As was the Father, as well as (obviously) the Son.
I guess my point for today - and often is as I write about this, that and the other - that through very ordinary events and seemingly ordinary things...
like a white dove (pigeon)
...our God comes to us and desires to bless.