I took this photo at today’s Theophany service at Puddingstone Lake. Theophany has a lot of meeting for me, so I’m very grateful that I was able to take off work and attend our parish’s Theophany services with Debbie.
Theophany commemorates the revelation of the Trinitarian God at Jesus’ baptism when God the Father spoke to Jesus saying “You are my son, whom I love” as the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove. God as Father, Son and Spirit.
The context for that event is a mammoth, over-arching Story that began in Genesis 1 and ultimately concludes in Revelation 22. Like any good story, this is a multi-layered narrative. Multiple meanings and subtexts converged when Jesus stepped into the Jordan. He was God’s Son, faithful Israel, who were called to be God’s “rescue party” to the nations. He was God’s Son, Israel’s representative King, come to be and do what Israel as a nation had failed. He was God’s Son, the Creator stepping into the very creation that had been created through him and for him.
The Story of God and his creation. His image-bearers fallen, but not forgotten. His covenanted people, gifted to bless and rescue the nations. Their representative king, to be and do what they couldn’t. The Creator loving and rescuing his creation. Jesus, true human and faithful Israel, fulfilling the human side of the covenant. Jesus, the true embodiment and presence of God, fulfilling God’s side of the covenant.
Immersed in the Jordan. Immersed in the Story. God’s Son, beloved by the Father and anointed by the Spirit, ready to turn the Story on its head.
But it’s not just Jesus’ Story. He has swooped us into it as well:
“But when the time of fulfillment arrived, God sent out his son, born of a woman, born under the law, so that he might redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And, because you are sons, God sent out the spirit of his son into our hearts, calling out ‘Abba, father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son! And, if you’re a son, you are an heir, through God.” – Galatians 4:4-7
Theophany is God’s Story. It’s Jesus’ Story. It’s our Story. Jesus is God’s beloved Son. And we are now God’s adopted sons! Sons and heirs through God! Let’s join him and live the Story!