Our service today spoke of fulfillment and righteousness. Karen told the story of Jesus' Baptism by John the Baptist. This was déjà vu for me, as my Sunday school class discussed this passage the previous week. The question most of the kids asked was WHY? Why did Jesus need to be baptised. Why was John the Baptist performing this most holy sacrament – shouldn’t it have been the other way around?
Karen underlined two key words in the passage: Fulfillment and Righteousness. The act of fulfilling righteousness is a way of jumping in. These words appear for the first time in Mathew – when Angel Gabriel appears to Joseph. Joseph is informed that Mary will be expecting a baby and is urged to go through with his plans of marrying her in order to “fulfill what the Lord had said”. Here, Joseph is called upon to be righteous, and to take up his role as Jesus earthly father. He is called upon to “jump in”.
Jesus through his act of Baptism is “Jumping in” with God's people, wading in the waters where other sinners have trod. Fulfilling righteousness is the act of standing together, sharing, commiserating and turning from self to other. It is attempting to be inclusive in a society that always finds ways to divide.
So as we move forward in this new year – let us endeavour to jump in and strive to share with one another in order to lighten the load.