In those days, John the Baptist came. He proclaimed his message in the isolation of the Judean desert. He said, “Change your hearts and minds. The realm of [the human being filled with] the heavens has come close.”
He it is of whom the prophet Isaiah speaks:
A voice is heard, calling in the loneliness [of the human soul]: ‘Prepare the way for the highest leader [within the soul], make his path straight and good [Order your feeling and thinking, so that within you a path arises for the inner Lord!].
John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather girdle around his waist. Hard fruits and wild honey were his food.
At that time, people came out to him from Jerusalem and the whole of Judea and from the region around the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the flowing waters of the Jordan and confessed [admitted] their sins [failings, and the errors of their lives].
When he saw that many Pharisees and Sadducees also came for baptism, he said to them, ‘You sons of the serpent, who has told you how to escape from the coming World-Fire [Fury]? Now, therefore, strive after [to bring forth] the right fruits of the change of heart and mind. Do not think that you are safe by saying: We have Abraham as our father. I say to you: the heavenly Father is just as able to raise Abraham-sons from these dead stones. Already the ax is laid to the root of the trees [of the bloodlines], and every tree that does not bear good fruit is felled and thrown into the fire [of testing]. I baptize you with water to lead you to a change of consciousness [heart]. He who comes after me is mightier than I; unworthy am I even to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will cleanse his grain of the chaff. He will gather the wheat into the barn [for the future], but the chaff he will burn in an unquenchable fire.”
Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now. It is good thus so that we fulfill properly all that destiny [divine righteousness] requires.” Then he consented.
Having been baptized Jesus was already coming up from the water again when behold, the heavens opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending in the form of a dove and alighting upon him. And a voice spoke out of the heavens:
“This is my Son whom I love,
[Today I have conceived him. Luke 3:22]
In him will I reveal myself.”
July 5, 2020
At the end of the day's work or a big project, the environment may have become disordered. Clean-up is called for. A visitor to one of the original Waldorf curative schools was told that he could find the school's founder and teacher after-school still in the classroom, cleaning up. As the visitor approached, he could hear the teacher repeating a phrase again and again: The Spirit creates order! The Spirit creates order!
|Icon,John the Baptist, Angel of the Desert, detail|
Today's gospel reading describes such a moment in human history. The old phase of the elite bloodlines is over; their work is done. John the Baptizer said, "The ax has been laid to the roots of the trees," the ancestral trees of the bloodlines. This is because their mission, that of creating a pure bodily form for the Messiah, is complete. After this, there can only be decay; for the bloodlines are no longer capable of spiritual awareness.
Yet a new order is arriving. The Spirit creates order! Jesus comes to the Jordan as the beginning of a new era for human beings. Christ, the divine Son and our Brother, will enter humanity. Everything will be up-ended. Even John the Baptizer's perception of his own unworthiness is no hindrance. Now a new order, a new Spirit consciousness, has arrived. Now the divine will inhabit the body. Now heaven can reveal itself on earth, for a new spirit consciousness of love for all human beings, beyond bloodline, tribe, or nation, will slowly and gradually take over the earth.
It is true that elitism, tribalism, and nationalism will ever try to interfere with the new order. But they have no future. Only the Spirit creates order. Now is the time to recognize that all of humankind is one family, for we are all children of God. Here the 15th Psalm is a kind of prophecy:
and who may act in your place?
Those with a passion for justice,
who speak the truth from their hearts;
who have let go of selfish interests
and grown beyond their own lives;
who see the wretched as their family
and the poor as their flesh and blood.
They alone are impartial
and worthy of the people's trust.
Their compassion lights up the whole earth,
and their kindness endures forever.*
*Psalm 15, in The Psalms, translations by Stephen Mitchell