Just as the Holy Spirit was present at the beginning, “hovering over the face of the waters” like a bird, so the Holy Spirit hovers and comes down upon Jesus as a dove in the re-creation event of His baptism.
In Christ’s baptism God is creating all over again! And, you are there. As Adam, although not yet present physically, was there at the beginning of creation because God had him in His mind and heart and was making everything for him, so you were there at the Baptism of Jesus. His baptism was the same as your baptism because it was all about you and for you! You were present not only in the mind and heart of God; you were present in the very flesh of Jesus when He was baptized!
It’s not the re-creation of the world that God holds before us in the good news of Christ and His baptism. It’s your re-creation. God has given you a new life in His Son, in His baptism and in your baptism into Him! Romans 6:3 makes this clear: “We were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” What took place in Jesus’ baptism, then, also took place in yours. As the Father said of Jesus, “You are My beloved Son; with you I am well pleased,” so He said of you in your baptism. As the Holy Spirit came down upon Jesus in His baptism, so the Holy Spirit came to you in your baptism. You were re-created, given a new life with Christ in your baptism! Now, go forth and live that life.
Live confidently, with the certainty that God loves you and is with you always to help you. Now, don’t base this confidence on your own worthiness. No, like John and the people who went to him for baptism, we need to confess our sinfulness and unworthiness. Examine your life. How often and easily do we, like our world, revert back to old sins and old ways and battling over the same old things! How easily do we belittle the power and comfort and strength of God’s works, like Baptism, for works that we come up with and consider impressive. It is because Christ has come to us and baptized us with and into Himself that we can be confident of God’s love and presence to help, and not because of anything we do.
Then, live in loving service to others, for this is how Jesus lived. You have been joined to Him in baptism to “walk in newness of life” – His life. Here’s where your life as a follower of Jesus can be seen to be so different.
The terrorists who murdered seventeen people and spread fear throughout France claimed to be devout Muslims. They not only sincerely believed in their God, Allah, but sincerely believed that Allah wants everyone to live in submission to his law. Those who refuse to do so, and especially those who belittle Allah or Mohammed, are to be despised, hated, and killed.
As Christians, we want people to believe in and follow God: God, the Holy Trinity. How different is He! He comes to sinners with mercy and love, desiring to change their hearts. Christ takes our sins and their judgment upon Himself and buries Himself in our death, that we might be set free from them and have a new life. He tells us to love even our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us, not murder them. He would change hearts by sacrificial service, and fill hearts with the love and mercy of God.
Baptized by and into His Son, God has re-created you for this. Jesus joined Himself to you in baptism that His new life might be your new life. Turn away from a sinful focus on your own desires, then, and become like Christ in loving service!