Join us today for an episode about the certainty and uncertainty we all have...
Today's episode is focused on Genesis 1: 1-5 and Mark 1: 4-11...
In today’s Spiritual Foundation Episode, I talk about Genesis 1: 1-5 and Mark 1: 4-11. I share how we often find ourselves looking for what we already have. I also share how we strive for certainty despite our uncertainty.
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Episode 1389: And There Was Morning
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining me on episode 1389 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:00:08] Sharon Hughes: I'm Sharon Hughes. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence, and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures To live out your calling, having the ability to believe the truth of who you really are is key.
[00:00:27] And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this, the inspired stewardship podcast with my friend, Scott Maderer.
[00:00:43] Scott Maderer: We often lose our grip, lose our certainty, forget that it even happened. And we're still running. We're still searching. We're still looking for what
[00:00:52] Scott Maderer: actually already have. That moment of remembering our baptism is [00:01:00] core sometimes to who and what. Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:01:11] If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact others.
[00:01:38] In today's Spiritual Foundation episode, I talk about Genesis 1 5 and Mark 1 4 11. I share how we often find ourselves looking for what we already have, and I also share how we strive for certainty despite our uncertainty. Genesis 1 5 says [00:02:00] In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth was a formless void, and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.
[00:02:10] Then God said, Let there be light, and there was light. And God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness he called night. And there was evening, and there was morning the first day. Mark chapter 1 verses 4 through 11 says, John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
[00:02:36] And people from the whole Judean countryside and all of the people of Jerusalem were going out to him and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locust and wild honey. He proclaimed, The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me.
[00:02:57] I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the [00:03:00] thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. In those days, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the spirit descending like a dove on him.
[00:03:19] And a voice came from heaven, You are my son, the beloved, with you I am well pleased. This theme in here of, water, and Jesus plunging into the water, the waters being parted in the Old Testament lesson. They remind us how important water is to us. I'm not just talking here about water to drink and water used for cooking and sanitation and all of those other things.
[00:03:53] I'm talking about water as a remembrance of what it [00:04:00] means to us emotionally and for peace. Oftentimes around New Year's you'll see news stories about people plunging into the water, the polar bear club on New Year's Day, diving into that ice cold water. It's something that occurs in many places, and sometimes you see it with literal blocks of ice in the water.
[00:04:25] Other times It's just in cold water in Finland. They will warm up in the sauna and then go roll in the snow. You see these events of bracing ourselves around water. We do it on New Year's Day and you wonder why. And maybe it's something. Like you're doing the worst thing of the year and you're getting it over with right from the beginning and everything else has to go up from here.
[00:04:54] If I can survive this, then I can survive anything. If I can make myself do this, then I can make myself [00:05:00] do anything. It seems to be around having a new start, in a way. It's almost like by going into the cold water, that's ending your life in one way, but by coming out, you're being reborn.
[00:05:17] And of course, that's a mindset that as Christians, we know around water. Water as a symbol of rebirth for Christians. Not necessarily ice cold water, but water. It's a symbol of birth. It's a symbol of rebirth. That Jesus was nurtured in the waters of the womb, reminding us of the humanity of Christ, is used as a prayer and part of a prayer around Advent.
[00:05:49] Water figures in the Gospel lesson and in the Hebrew scripture for this Sunday. This baptism of the Lord Sunday [00:06:00] is centered around water. The Old Testament lesson says when time began God was, when creation came to be, God was the cause and that water was the beginning. Water was the birthplace of everything else.
[00:06:18] The wind of God swept over the face of the waters, it says in the NRSV. The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters in the NIV. The message says God's Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery sea. Abyss, like brooding, like a hen tending eggs, waiting for birth. God tends to creation and calls it forth.
[00:06:46] The Spirit is a creative force, or the Word is a creative force. It reflects on both of those. The Spirit is brooding, but the Word was spoken, and then something was. [00:07:00] The Word, according to John, is that force. And he says, all things came into being through him and without him, not one thing came into being.
[00:07:09] It was the word that brought forth light. And then the word pronounces that it is good. I don't know about you, but sometimes I forget that part of the story. The fact that creation is called good right there at the very beginning. It's not done yet. It's not finished, but God is already proclaiming it.
[00:07:32] Good. So good can't mean it's complete. Good can't mean it's finished. The sun hasn't even been made yet in this version of the Genesis story. But yet it was good. Goodness must mean something other than perfection. It must be something other than what we define as good. It may simply mean it has been born of God.
[00:07:57] Maybe it means that now we've [00:08:00] found that thing we search for. I don't know if you know this, but there are churches that occasionally have services that are themed around popular culture, whether that's the Mayberry TV show, or I've actually seen where the communion is set to the music of U2. Now, you may not know this, but U2 is a band that is upfront about their Christian faith.
[00:08:33] And they're often made fun of both by Christians and non Christians for that. But they have a subtle presentation and sharing of their faith often in their music. But I think what bothers some Christians is their music tends to not be about certainty and having the answers, but rather about questions and searching for the answers.
[00:08:57] They have a song, I Still Haven't Found What I'm [00:09:00] Looking For. The final verse says, I believe in the kingdom come that all the colors will bleed into one. But yes, I'm still running. You broke the bonds. You loose the chains. You carried the cross and my shame. And my shame. You know I believe it. But I still haven't found what I'm looking for.
[00:09:23] That song has that message. of I have certainty and uncertainty at the same time. I have faith and belief and unbelief and unfaith all at the same time. I'm trapped here between doubt and certainty. And yet, that sometimes is exactly where we find ourselves. We have in the liturgical year, we have Epiphany and then the baptism of the Lord.
[00:09:55] So it's like we go from Christmas and the celebration of Epiphany, [00:10:00] which is on the 12th day of Christmas. The 12 days of Christmas are after Christmas, not before them. And then the wise men find their way to the child. And then all of a sudden we're 30 years forward in time and Jesus is being baptized.
[00:10:14] Jesus is there. John the Baptist is there. And there's a whole bunch of other people around as well. It talks about all of the people of Jerusalem are flocking out here to be baptized by him. They're going to John because he seems to have certainty. He seems to have a message of redemption, a message that they can believe in.
[00:10:42] And because of that, they go out to see John and to be baptized by water and by word, and then they see something that they've been searching for, but John says, it's not me you're searching for, [00:11:00] it's something else, it's something coming after me, and Jesus came out to be baptized by John.
[00:11:08] Not because he needed repentance or certainty or the message of John, but because he needed to be there to be part of that. moment to show the people that were out there that maybe still had doubts that there's something else here. This presence that we find, that certainty that we seek, that uncertainty that we all have, sometimes we need to remember it.
[00:11:34] It can be found and reflected on. in any moment of the day in that drop of water that beads up on the glass before us the water that we drink after a hard and working day the water that we shower with and bathe with the moments around us should remind us of that redemption we need constant reminders of that baptism [00:12:00] moment of that transformation of that rebirth.
[00:12:05] We often lose our grip, lose our certainty, forget that it even happened, and we're still running, we're still searching, we're still looking for what we actually already have. That moment of remembering our baptism is core sometimes to who and what we are. Thanks for listening.
[00:12:35] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, do me a favor, go over to Facebook. com slash Inspired [00:13:00] Stewardship And like our Facebook page and mark it that you'd like to get notifications from us so that we can connect with you on Facebook and make sure that we're serving you to the best of our abilities with time and tips there.
[00:13:18] Until next time, invest your time. Your talent and your treasures develop your influence and impact the world.
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And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." – Mark 1: 10-11