And God took delight…
Oh with such delight we welcomed the children back to Religious Education on this Feast of the Baptism of Jesus. Sunday’s Gospel proclaimed, “after Jesus was baptized and while he was praying, heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him . . And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.'” [Luke 3] This Sunday’s readings invites us to encounter the God who takes pleasure in each one of us.
And in the classroom, the God of Jesus took delight in the children as they reenacted Jesus’ Baptism so thoughtfully arranged and directed by co-Catechist Steve Sebastian. Once again in another activity, God was very pleased as the children responded to the prompt:“God is very pleased with you. In the space below write or draw something that is good, you like about yourself, and that makes God so happy that you were born.” Their responses varied reflecting skill-sets and worldviews centered around relationships. Their artistic and written expressions speak of how God gently invites our children to live out the grace of Baptism. My hope, that each child shared self-expression with you and posted it on the family bulletin board, or the refrigerator.
Class kept moving from one teachable moment to the next. God took delight in the children when they enthusiastically proclaimed, “I make God so happy, God jumped for joy when I was born.” Yes, in the classroom space the children jumped and danced to show God’s joyful response when they were born. They were “charged” with the task to share with you how God jumped for joy at their birth.
Today following Baptism of Jesus we enter into to Ordinary Time charged to live the graces we received at our Baptism. I am reminded of the words of Howard Thurman:
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone.
When the king and the princes area home.
When the shepherds are back with their flocks
The work of Christmas begins
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people
To make music in the heart.
Yes, this is our baptismal call, to continue the work of Jesus. In doing so, we too will hear within our hearts, ‘You are my beloved son/ you are my beloved daughter; with you I am well pleased.”