Advent 4

It strikes me as pretty interesting that Advent is not typically recommended for baptisms.

You might be wondering why I bring it up, well, today I've got two more baptisms to do.  So, this Advent season, I'll have had 3 – 3 baptisms during a relatively short season that tradition tells us is not the time to do these sorts of things.

Now, I'm not the sort of person to just willfully go against tradition.  My primary interest is in agreeing to have baptisms during Advent is to do my best to serve the people I've been called to serve.

So, I've been thinking about baptizing during Advent.  And, I've come to believe that in at least one very important way, it should be totally acceptable.

Let me explain.

We all know that Advent is the preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.  We prepare ourselves in a number of ways – and contrary to popular myth, buying gifts is not at the top of the list of how to prepare ourselves!

We prepare ourselves primarily by remembering God's promises and how throughout history God made good on His promises.

As part of our remembering, we also find ourselves time and again, trying to grasp, trying to understand, the enormity of God becoming human.

One theme that's been running through our readings these past few weeks and hinted at again today, is how Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of God's promise to King David.  It seems to have been an important point that Jesus can trace his lineage back to David.  As if that wasn't enough, Matthew and Luke both provide genealogies of Jesus which establish David as his ancestor.

But, we also know that quite literally, Jesus was not really the son of Joseph.  Therefore, Jesus was not, quite literally, a son in the line of David.

Jesus was God incarnate.  Jesus had no human father.

Except that Joseph adopted him.  Joseph could have just left Mary out in the cold, it was well within his right according to Hebrew law.  He could have, but he didn't.  So, it was through adoption that Jesus came to be in the line of King David.  Through adoption – Joseph adopting Jesus as his own – the prophecy that the messiah would be in the line of David was fulfilled.

Which brings me to the topic of Baptism.

To put it quite simply, through baptism we become adopted sons and daughters of God.

To put it simply, and yet, quite profoundly, in baptism we have become adopted sons and daughters of God.

So, as we continue to prepare ourselves for the birth of Christ – our Emmanuel – our God among us – let's also remember our baptism.  Just as one man, Joseph, accepted and adopted the baby Jesus as his own son, so God accepts us and adopts us, as his own sons and daughters.

Who says Advent isn't for baptisms?  Amen.

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