After all the people had been baptised, Jesus also was baptised. Luke 3:21
Christ is baptised and the whole world is made holy. He wipes out the debt of our sins; we will all be purified by water and the Holy Spirit.
An Orthodox Antiphon
‘For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth and make it blossom, … so shall my word be’, says the Lord. Isaiah 55:10-11
Christians understand that Christ is the Word of God made flesh, and through the power of his Incarnation is present in all creation. Yet creation is disordered. It is not only humankind that is infected with a disoriented relationship with the Creator, the whole creation shares the same fate of being unfulfilled without the Redeemer. So how can Christ be everywhere present in it?
Although he was without sin, Jesus Christ came in a body as physical as any sinful human body. He became like us in all things except sin. At his baptism in the river Jordan, Jesus received a vision as he came out of the water. He saw the Spirit in the form of a gentle dove and heard his Father declare from on high ‘You are my dearly loved Son with whom I am deeply pleased.’
Jesus’s baptism had a cosmic significance: The sinless Saviour enters the streams of the Jordan, therefore cleansing the waters and imparting divine redemption to the entire material creation. As he comes up out of the water, he carries the created world up with him. He sees the heaven open, which the first human being had closed against himself and posterity, when Adam caused the gates of paradise to be shut with a flaming sword. Now they are opened, the waters of the sea are made sweet, the earth is glad. As the water falls over his human body, so the love of the Father for his loved Son cascades over him, covering him with glory. God and matter become one in the Son … The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
(Adapted from Brendan O’Malley A Pilgrim’s Manual: St David’s)
Lord, water the world.
Revive our dryness
Soak our soreness
Refresh our tiredness
Wash our filthiness
Bathe our wounds
Immerse us in your love