Resources for the Baptism of Christ Sunday

Two things to share.

The first is by wonderful pastor John Danner of Sanibel, Florida who shapes doxologies each week to fit the theme of a Sunday. This is for the celebration of the Baptism of Christ. The second is in Spanish and English (translation Katie Fiegenbaum) by Gerardo Oberman of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He originally wrote the piece for the second week in Advent that lifts up John The Baptist’s preaching by the Jordan. I print it here because, rather than separating the two texts, it is important to understand that Jesus was not just symbolically washing and mildly embarrassing his cousin and he was not just beginning his ministry. He was also walking forward into an uncompromising preaching about justice and radical upside-down change for the world.

TUNE: Old Hundredth TEXT: John Danner
Let oceans roar and give God praise,
Let rivers flow, their voices raise,
Let babbling brooks join in the song
Let waters praise God all day long.

We have shouted …

Don’t you sometimes feel like
you have already shouted for enough time?
Don’t you feel no one hears your voice,
and not even the wind
wants to lift your words towards some place
with attentive ears and open hearts?
How many times have you looked in the eyes
of those who are on the way with you
to invite them: “Let us return to God!”?
How many times have you shared,
with always new hopes,
that the realm of God was near?

How many times, however,
has the sound of your own voice
come back to you, like a mocking echo!
No, it is not the time for straight paths,
the echo tells you…it isn’t time, it isn’t time…
Prepare the way for whom?

We already have many people…
many people …many people…
We don’t have sins…
don’t have sins…don’t have sins…
Society recognizes us, we are important,
Abraham is our ancestor, look at our prestige…
our prestige…our prestige…

Is it worth it to keep shouting?
Will someone be interested in our cares,
in hearing the voice of the crazies who continue to believe
that justice is possible
and that one day we will be kissed passionately with peace,
that their love will birth a new world,
fully inclusive, supportive,
without pain and without hunger,
a world of hugs, of gatherings,
of spacious tables, with food and drink
for every son and daughter of God?

Is it worth it to continue inviting people
to come to the Jordan River
where it is possible to renew faith
and irrigate dreams.

Could it be that someone is interested
unmasking the snakes
that today mock the wounds
of a dying world ?

Will anybody believe that it is still worth it
to hope for the one who comes to finish
that which the usual evil
would like to vanquish on a cross?
Even though (we are) tired,
without certainty that someone has heard us,
we will have to continue shouting:
Come, One, return already!
Let us put things in their place!

Gerardo Oberman
Image by Jesus Mafa

unnamed
Hemos gritado

¿No sientes, a veces,
que has gritado por demasiado tiempo ya?
¿No sientes que nadie oye tu voz,
que ni siquiera el viento
quiere llevar tus palabras hacia algún lugar
de oídos atentos y de corazones abiertos?
¿Cuántas veces has mirado a los ojos
a quienes van de camino contigo
para invitarles: ¡Volvámonos a Dios!?
¿Cuántas veces has compartido,
con esperanzas siempre nuevas,
que el reino de Dios estaba cerca?

¡Cuántas veces, sin embargo,
el sonido de tu propia voz
te regresaba, como un eco burlón!
No, no es tiempo de caminos rectos,
te decía el eco… no es tiempo, no es tiempo…
¿Preparar caminos para quién?
Ya tenemos muchos señores…
muchos señores… muchos señores…
Nosotros no tenemos pecados…
no tenemos pecados… no tenemos pecados…
La sociedad nos reconoce, somos importantes,
Abraham es nuestro padre, mira nuestro prestigio…
nuestro prestigio… nuestro prestigio…

¿Valdrá la pena seguir gritando?
¿A alguien le interesará en nuestras ciudades
oír la voz de locos y locas que siguen creyendo
que la justicia es posible
y que alguna día se besará apasionadamente con la paz,
que de su amor nacerá un mundo nuevo,
pleno, inclusivo, solidario,
sin dolores y sin hambre,
mundo de abrazos, de encuentros,
de mesas amplias, con comida y bebida
para cada hijo e hija de Dios?

¿Valdrá la pena seguir invitando a las gentes
a acercarse a los jordanes
donde es posible renovar la fe
y regar los sueños?

¿Será que a alguien le interese
que sean desenmascaradas las víboras
que hoy se mofan de las heridas
de un mundo que se muere?

¿Creerá alguien que aún vale la pena
esperar a quien viene a completar
lo que los perversos de siempre
quisieran derrotar en una cruz?

Aún cansados y cansadas,
sin certezas de que alguien nos oiga,
habrá que seguir gritando:
¡Viene Uno, ya llega!
¡Y pondrá las cosas en su lugar!

Gerardo Oberman
Imágen de Jesus Mafa

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2 Responses to Resources for the Baptism of Christ Sunday

  1. Nathaniel C. Emens says:

    Thank you very much. This message came to me at just the right time. I was feeling very
    depressed about the terrible situation in the Middle East and especially in Bethlehem where I
    know a Palestinian, Arab, Christian who led a tour I was on about four years ago.

  2. Maren says:

    Let us keep that person and so many others there in our constant prayers.

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