After all the people had been baptized
and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying,
heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him
in bodily form like a dove.
And a voice came from heaven,
“You are my beloved Son;
with you I am well pleased.”
This is the depiction of the Holy Spirit that John drew when he was in second grade preparing for his First Eucharist. Every child decorated their own square of cloth and then some kind soul sewed them all into a quilt that graced the church’s altar while they prepared for their big day. Then each child got to bring their own square home. I have Aaron’s, too, somewhere in the cedar chest where I keep my most precious items from the boys’ childhood.
I’ve always loved this bit of scripture. I can just imagine Jesus’s happiness, his sigh of relief at receiving concrete proof that he was living up to God’s expectations when he sent his son to be born into the human world. So many of us spend our lives trying (and failing) to live up to the expectations of human parents, spouses, children, bosses, co-workers, and friends. But what’s really important is that we try to live up to God’s expectations for us. Or that we even open our minds to what those expectations might be . . . I’m fairly certain they are a far cry from the human expectations we’re chasing. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear God saying to you, “With you am I well pleased.”? Forget New Year’s Resolutions – there’s a goal to spend your life working toward!