“In order to get to the crux of this Gospel reading this morning, Mark 4:1-11, we’re essentially going to have to forget everything we’ve heard and talked about for the last three or four weeks. That is, to understand what is happening here in Mark’s account of Jesus’ baptism, we need to simply erase or delete, if possible, any thoughts of Christmas or the birth of Jesus in the manger or the visit of the magi from the East,” begins Phillip Martin, pastor of Epiphany Lutheran Church in Richmond, Virginia. He continues, “Why?…Because Mark doesn’t talk about any of it in his story about Jesus. Not one bit of it. As far as Mark is concerned Jesus’ life begins with his baptism in the River Jordan.” Again, why? Martin continues, “By having Jesus’ baptism begin his story about Jesus, Mark underscores Jesus’ solidarity with us, that though he is clearly divine, Jesus comes to be the human God created us to be.” That’s an example from which we can all hope to learn something!
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