Away in the manger,
No crib for His bed.
He ends as He began – Homeless.
Jesus wakes to the distant bleating of young lambs as their shepherd gently guides them to pasture. His shelter did little to shield Him from the heavy mist of morning, but Creation welcomes Him with such an array of color that He doesn’t mind. Leaning up on one arm, He admires from a distance the palate of gold and coral that wash across the city of Galilee. And the delicate fragrance of passionflower clings to His moist skin in scented balance of earth and palms. Sweeping His gaze across the plain, His thoughts linger on the beauty His Father created so long ago.
He is hungry – unusual for Him so early – but just as well. He will sustain himself with food and water today – Satan is waiting.
A prickly trunk among a cluster of Sable Palms supports an aching back not used to sleeping on the ground, He shakes off the chill of night sending tiny droplets of moisture flowing one into another. Running His hands through His hair, soft coos catch His attention and He reaches up to perch a Dove who just lighted to keep Him Company. Her sweet whispers are met with a delighted smile of pleasure – she has no fear. She waits until He lifts her up to return to the freedom of her skies, gracefully disturbing the rising mist as He watches until she’s gone. It won’t be long now …. His own ascension.
A sigh to His Father as He kneels in Reverence begins an intense plea for Strength and Power to prepare for today’s destined encounter with Evil.
Hunger will have to wait.
The sun high and hot – sustained and refreshed, He sets out on the well-traveled road from town and greets those who pass by, leaving behind Him a smile on each heart. Distant shouts of praise guide Him to the bank of Jordan where His cousin is baptizing new believers and He notices a few Sycamores nearby offering welcome shade. He sits to rest and silently joins the believers in the joy and smiles on their faces. Love, Joy, Peace – Forever. He takes time to reflect on “why” He is here but is interrupted when John notices Jesus among the trees and eagerly motions for Him to come – not realizing …. there is One more to baptize.
The River Jordan stirs once again as Jesus takes His place beside an obedient cousin whose heart is full with humble pride. Each surrounding believer, already drenched with muddy waters stirred by the emersion of their own souls, quietly prays before their Savior. As John the Baptist speaks, Jesus submits to the death, burial, and resurrection of His body.
And then…….the Heavens parted…….
……. a brilliant blur descended from the skies with Regal Grace …..
A postcard delivered,
On the wings of a Dove,
From a Father in Heaven,
Speaking of love,
“You are My Son, Whom I love,
with You I am well pleased.”*
Drenched with muddy waters, by the submission of His soul, The Spirit immediately lead Him away to the dessert – Evil was waiting.
*Matthew 3:16,17 NIV
Story based on Matthew 3:13 – 4:1 NIV
The name (flower) passionflower is one other note of interest. The flowers of passion vines are associated with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, especially in Latin countries. The five sepals and five petals are said to represent the apostles minus Judas, who betrayed Jesus, and Peter, who denied Jesus.
The five stamens represent the five wounds Jesus received (one each in his hands and feet and the piercing of his side by a spear), the stigmas represent the three nails used to nail Jesus to the cross and the corona of numerous filaments is said to represent the crown of thorns. Certain tropical species possess foliage marked by silvery-green rounded variegations, and these are said to represent the coins of silver for which Judas betrayed Jesus. The Sun Herald 8/13/05
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