A Voice We Need to Hear 

A Voice We Need to Hear 

A Voice We Need to Hear                                 Luke 3:21-22

A voice from heaven. That is what Jesus hears when he is baptized.  We don’t know how loud it was or how many people heard it, but someone heard it because as Luke tells the story in his Gospel this Sunday he makes sure to include this detail that was passed down to him.  There was a voice at the baptism of Jesus.  It seemed that God was present making a divine declaration.

In his monthly column in the Living Lutheran magazine, Pastor Frank Honeycutt reflects upon what happened at the baptism of Jesus and asks the question, “Wouldn’t more people believe if the Almighty spoke out loud like at Jesus’ baptism? If God would just tell us, clearly, what we are supposed to be doing in this life?”

I agree with the pastor that if God were more obvious more people might want to follow God. On the other hand, I have to wonder that even if God were more obvious we might still have our doubts.  We might still come up with excuses why we were not going to go where God was leading.  We might still refuse to believe or perhaps choose not to believe because it is challenging and difficult to do so.

It might help to remember that when God is obviously present at the baptism of Jesus God doesn’t lay down a bunch of hard and punishing rules to follow.  In fact, God doesn’t really give any direction at all. What God does is make a declaration about the identity of Jesus.  God says, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

We might say that we would like God to be more obvious about guiding us in what to do, but maybe what we need more desperately is to be reminded of who God says we are.  To be told we are beloved by God and God is pleased with us, is a message that we indeed need to hear loud and clear.  It is a message that does not get old and if we can remember that our identity is one of being loved by God, then what we should do becomes more clear as well as we act out of a spirit of that same love.

-Pastor Erik Goehner