There are wonderful, magical metaphors in the New Testament and this excerpt from Luke is one of them. Luke’s author uses the baptism of Jesus to underscore the living relationship between God and the Message of the Christ.
We can read it literally and sense the power of what a moment like that would feel like. But if we do, we forever distance ourselves from our own participation in it. Who, we can’t help but ask ourselves, could ever live up to that kind of endorsement? It endangers our empowerment to act by leading us to think that only “Jesus” could ever solve our problems.
Rather, let’s use this image as a challenge to ourselves to act on our own connection to the “Holy Spirit.” A challenge to, as John notes, strive for “a life lived totally within the reign of God’s love.”
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ Luke