October 29, 2020

Baptism of Our Lord

The Baptism of Christ, Bening

By Chaplain Mike

Today’s Gospel: Matthew 3:13-17

with each step through jordan
the water parted wide
priests and ark stood on dry ground
where once was swelling tide
safe through its torrents we all passed
in canaan to abide

shamed and naked, in disgrace
our captors led us away
to settle us by exile streams
where foreign gods held sway
sadly, there we hung our harps
and could not sing or play

an odd prophet, desert worn
with thundering voice appeared
and stood again where waters flow
to call for all to hear
that we should take our place once more
in jordan’s midst with tears

and then there came a greater man
to pass through swelling tide
when waters broke a voice was heard
the heavens opened wide
and our new joshua arose
salvation to provide


  1. Excellent, Chaplain Mike!

  2. Very nice.

  3. Enjoyed reading your poem – thank you!

  4. Well spoken. Thanks for sharing God’s gift with us.

  5. Your poem is thought-provoking, but the accompanying painting is provocative in another way.

    I have read that Christ was probably naked on the cross but artists have depicted the scene with fabric placed strategically to avoid showing His nakedness. I have never read that He was probably naked at His baptism also.

    • I noticed that in many paintings I considered, Bob. I will have to do more research, but I’m wondering if it is designed to be historically accurate, or whether it reflects practices at the time of the artist (which is often the case).

  6. This begs to be set to music. Have you considered songwriting?

    • Thanks for the compliment, Deb. I have done a little, though I’m out of shape since leaving a pastoral position that gave me more music responsibilities.

  7. Christiane says

    I love it.
    It is told that the place that the Israelites crossed over the Jordan into the Promised Land was also the very place where Our Lord was baptized by St. John (the Baptizer).

  8. Beginning last July, our liturgical church leadership decided to preach off the church calendar and without the benefit of the weekly readings.

    These regular posts here have encouraged my soul. Thank you for being willing to contemplate the mysteries of our faith in the methodology of our ancestors. This piece is lovely.

  9. I’m finding that I need more stuff like this in my life- creative illustrations of Christ and the Gospel. Through art, poetry, story. The genius of the Gospel is that every field and every disicpline has a way of exposing Biblical content to us in a unique way. It’s not just a bunch of scholar/philosophers expounding on abstractions of truth, thank God!