15 The people were filled with expectation, and everyone wondered whether John might be the Christ. 16 John replied to them all, “I baptize you with water, but the one who is more powerful than me is coming. I’m not worthy to loosen the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out.” 18 With many other words John appealed to them, proclaiming good news to the people. 19 But Herod the ruler had been criticized harshly by John because of Herodias, Herod’s brother’s wife, and because of all the evil he had done. 20 He added this to the list of his evil deeds: he locked John up in prison. 21 When everyone was being baptized, Jesus also was baptized. While he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit came down on him in bodily form like a dove. And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.” (Luke 3:15-22, CEB)
The reading for today was only supposed to be Luke 3:15-17, 21-22, leaving out 18 through 20. Which always makes me wonder when a portion of scripture is left out. The lectionary leaves out the part where John is thrown in prison because Herod had married Herodias, Herod’s brother’s wife.
But surrounding that is the question of John being the Christ or Messiah, and Jesus’ baptism. Which is John’s baptism and not the baptism we as Christians do. But here the Spirit descends from heaven in the form of a dove, a white pigeon, and the voice declared Jesus God’s son. God takes a trash bird and makes it beautiful to deliver a message of hope.
If God can transform a trash bird, God can transform us and all of creation.
So go showing love.
Loving People. Loving God.