The Launching point

Mark 1: 9-11

“and a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” v. 11

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 This is, for Mary and me, a bittersweet time to be parents. Our oldest is living in her own place, the next oldest is about to finish college, our third goes off to begin college in the fall, and our youngest is just two years away from launching out. It seems like just yesterday we were watching them play in the front yard. I remember I used to be able to carry them, one child on each leg, and one in each arm at the same time. Now they could carry me. I could fill many pages just telling how each of them have filled our lives with joy. As home-school parents we’ve enjoyed watching up close as they have learned and grown. We’ve taught them how to read and write, learn their numbers, explore the sciences and the arts, history and languages. I’ve taught three of them to drive and will soon start teaching the fourth one. We’ve watched them grow physically, mentally, and spiritually into wonderful godly men and women who are beginning to impact the lives of many others around them. Now we’re at the launching point. Like I said it’s bittersweet, to stand on the porch and wave as your young adult children drive into the future we have worked and prayed to prepare them for. We love our kids, and just seeing who they are, and who they are becoming, gives us great pleasure. At risk of sounding trite I wonder if God the father had any of those feelings as he hovered over his only begotten son at his baptism.

baptism

The Jesus stood, in the Jordan river, drenched in the Spirit, and soaked in surrender. All of history had led to the events that would unfold over the next three years. This was God’s only begotten Son. He was the only one that had ever been or ever would be. In that moment I wonder of the father looked back over the past at all the events leading up to this day. Perhaps he chuckled looking back at Jesus childhood-the messes he undoubtedly made, the games he played, and the silly child songs he sang to his mom. I can’t even imagine what was happening in the heart of the father looking at his only begotten, at the launching point. I think it’s no accident that the scripture says, “Immediately he saw the heavens torn open…the Spirit descending, and a voice from heaven, saying I love you Son! (author’s paraphrase).” When I see one of my kids stepping out into grown up living I sometimes want to tear open the universe, send them a gift, and scream out how much I love them. Call me a heretic but I just can’t help but feel something like that was going on in the heavenlies as the father prepared to launch Jesus into his mission. Jesus had done no miracles, yet his father was pleased with him simply because of who he was, and because he was stepping obediently into his calling. Let me take this a little farther. The father feels the same way about you. The same love the father had for his only begotten Son, He has for his adopted Sons and Daughters.

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Whenever you stand in the waters of surrender, preparing to launch out into his call He hovers over you with great love and joy. You see, everything in your life that has happened now, even those things God didn’t will to come upon you, have been used to prepare you for the future you are about to step into today. Today is your launching point. It may seem like an ordinary day, but it’s part of God’s plan for His glory and your good. Whenever you stand in the waters of surrender, and choose to live by obedient faith, as Jesus did, God the father tears open curtains of heaven, pours out his Spirit on you and screams out, “I love you and I’m pleased with you!”

Today as you go out in faith, know that he is proud of you for simply trusting him and living in surrender like Jesus did. You don’t have to do any back flips to get his attention. You just have to live by faith.

 

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