Summary: A sermon for the First Sunday after the Epiphany, The Baptism of Jesus

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First Sunday after the Epiphany

The Baptism of Jesus

Mark 1:4-11


4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

5 And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, and had a leather girdle around his waist, and ate locusts and wild honey.

7 And he preached, saying, "After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.

8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

9 ¶ In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.

10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove;

11 and a voice came from heaven, "Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased."RSV

Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

Do you remember this introduction to a long ago favorite TV program, "Look , its bird, its a plane, its Superman. Superman who was faster than a speeding bullet, more power full than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings with a single bound, can bend steel in his bare hands. Disguised as Clark Kent the mild-mannered reporter for a large metropolitan newspaper, fights a never ending battle for truth, justice and the American way."

As I was growing up that was one of my favorite programs. Superman had a long life. He was born in the comic books. I remember sitting in the barber shop hoping you had to wait a long time so you could read all the comics, he grew in television and matured in the movies. Superman always defended those who were powerless to defend themselves; he was responsible to bring justice to the land. Using his great power and strength and his x-ray vision he was able to subdued the guilty parties and bring them to jail.

One quality of superman, the superman of TV, that I especially liked was his gentle manner. There was some violence in his shows, but not like the kind we have today. He never killed’ and usually he tried to be very gentle. Superman was moved by emotions; but he always had a gentle touch, he was sensitive to human feelings. Superman showed us that the mighty, the powerful can also be tender, loving and caring.

I miss that kind of gentle goodness in the world today as we see people in the movies and on TV, shoot, kill, blow-up, people, places and things. I miss the calm, gentle, touch of Superman as he stood for justice in a way that brought justice along with goodness, kindness and compassion.

Our gospel lesson and a passage from Isaiah speak of another superman, one who would bring justice to the land. In Isaiah 42: 2-4 it says " he will not cry or lift up his voice or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will pot break and a dimly burning wick he will not quench."

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