Today is Epiphany. In many Western churches, this day commemorates the wise men’s visit to the baby Jesus. In the Eastern churches, the focus of Epiphany is on the manifestation of the Trinity in Jesus’ baptism.
The Romanian Baptist churches refer to this day as “the Lord’s baptism” day. When I lived in Romania, I heard many sermons on Jesus’ baptism, and over time, I became smitten by the beauty of Jesus’ baptism:
The beauty of Christ’s humanity as He identifies Himself with His sinful people.
The beauty of Christ being cleansed by a man whose sins He will later atone for on the cross.
The beauty of the Trinity: The Father speaks, the Son rises, the Spirit descends.
And then there’s the Father’s declaration of love for His Son. That’s what stirs up my heart’s affections with praise and gratitude because, understanding myself in Christ, God’s words are true of me too. I love this scene so much that I made it a pivotal part of the conversion of Gilbert Walker (the grandfather in Clear Winter Nights). Continue reading →