Fairhaven Shorts 1-7-2024

Fairhaven Shorts 1-7-2024

The Significance of Personal Revelation

The great preacher, Frederick Buechner, who's worth reading if you never have, his sermons are just beautiful. Everything he writes is beautiful. He has a sermon where he talks about how we might all wish that God would simply just reveal his existence to everybody. And he says, Wouldn't it be great if God could just write in the stars at night, "I really exist."

You know, just put it in the stars, I really exist, or God is, just write it across the sky so everyone can see it. But his conclusion is that if that really were to happen, when it comes down to it, it wouldn't really be helped. Because in his words, this is Buechner, What we need to know, of course, is not just that God exists, nor that beyond the steely brightness of the stars there's a cosmic intelligence of some kind that keeps the whole show going. But there is a God right here, in the thick of our day-to-day lives, who may not be writing messages about himself in the stars, but in, but who in one way or another is trying to get messages through our blindness as we move around down here, knee-deep in the fragrant muck and and misery and marvel of the world.

The Baptism of Jesus in Different Gospels

You can envision almost this hazy, slow motion moment through Jesus' own eyes. Almost as if we could look down and see the water around our own legs of the Jordan. Listen again to Mark, chapter 1, verses 9 through 11. About that time, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and John baptized him in the river Jordan.

While he was coming up out of the water, Jesus saw heaven splitting open, and the Spirit like a dove coming down on him. And there was a voice from heaven, 'You are my Son, whom I dearly love. In you I find happiness.' Let me tell you what feels especially powerful about Mark's version to me.

Mark tells it in such a way that it feels like all of this is sort of happening as an internal thing for Jesus. Jesus here is the one who sees heaven splitting open and the Spirit coming down on him like a dove, Mark says. And presumably Jesus is the one hearing this voice from heaven.

"You are my son whom I dearly love. In you I find happiness."