Watching insurrection

First Sunday after Epiphany; the Baptism of our Lord; 10 January 2021; Epiphany 1B (RCL); Genesis 1:1-5; Psalm 29; Acts 19:1-7; Mark 1:4-11.

I am watching the television coverage of a protest (?), a riot (?), an insurrection (?) at the US Capitol Building. It seems to me that the scripture readings for this coming Sunday have something to say to us about the way power works in God’s plan as opposed to how we think it should go.

At Jesus’ baptism, as narrated by Mark, the Spirit descends on Jesus in the form of a dove (think of Noah sending out the dove after the flood), and a voice comes from heaven saying, “You are my Son, the Beloved, with you I am well pleased.” Mark is here quoted Psalm 2, a coronation psalm, and one of the Servant songs in Isaiah.

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Behold, my servant

12 January 2020; The Baptism of our Lord; Epiphany IA (RCL); Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 29; Acts 10:34-43; Matthew 3:13-17

The voice from heaven speaks a phrase that is a conflation of Psalm 2:7 (You are my son; this day have I begotten you) and Isaiah 42:1 (Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am well pleased). This very combination is already asking the reader to make a profound theological move by combining the figure our the King with the figure of the servant.

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