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Matthew 3:13-17

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (verses 16-17)


What a remarkable picture. Jesus, dripping wet, freshly baptized, having fulfilled all righteousness, is caught up in the mutual embrace of the Trinity. The Spirit, in tangible form like a dove, not to be missed, comes down from the opened heaven and settles on Jesus – a sign of love and approval and equipping power. And at the very same moment, the Father’s voice from heaven (booming?) with pride and joy declares love and approval and sheer delight.


O Lord Jesus, you were caught up in this embrace of Father and Spirit. The Spirit resting on you. The Father delighting in you. You receiving. This mutual loving embrace of the Triune God – how wonder-filled.


Fast-forwarding into the rest of the New Testament, I know that I am “in Christ.” This image of my Lord, dripping wet, lets me understand some of what this means.

I, too, in Christ, am caught up in the mutual embrace of the Trinity. The Spirit has descended on my life, indwelling my very being, resting on me for his purposes, the love of God himself poured out into my heart by the Spirit’s sheer presence. In Christ, the Father delights in me, rejoicing over me with joy, twirling in his pleasure, giving me fullness of peace in his presence since I am justified in his Son, fully reconciled, having been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him.

I, in Christ, stand in the presence of the Trinity, the Spirit on me, within me, the Father’s words of approval and delight ringing in my ears.

This, as in Jesus, is the place from which ministry is launched. This is the foundation and atmosphere for the whole of life.

Oh, how good. Oh, what joy.


O Lord Jesus, let me live here … always.


Reflect: Spend a few moments imagining, right now, what God might say to you as his beloved child. Rest in his embrace.


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