When Jesus showed up on the bank of the Jordan, God Incarnate slipped off his sandals and dug his toes into the cool mud. He must have felt the warm sun on his face as he waded out into the river. Can you feel the water sloshing around his tunic and between his fingers? And can you imagine Jesus standing in the water up to his waist? The scene is earthy and real.
When Jesus accepted John’s baptism of repentance, Jesus demonstrated his solidarity and complete identification with his sisters and brothers of the land. He was already taking upon himself the sins of the world. Each step that Jesus took from that day forward led him inexorably to the cross. There, his death and resurrection delivered the promise of wholeness and forgiveness for all believers. That’s called new life. In a new year. Always new life in a new year.