Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (1: 6-11) in which tells of John the Baptist baptising Jesus in the Jordon and of a voice from heaven saying: “You are my Son, the beloved; my favour rests with you.” Fr Paul asks, what did Jesus experience at his baptism? As we hear in today’s gospel it is described as ‘the heavens torn apart’, a Voice, and the Spirit coming down like a dove. It must have given him the experience of being treasured, being embraced by the Person whom he called ‘Father’. But he is given a task, too, for the Spirit of God is an empowering Spirit. It must have felt like a new impetus, the thrill of a challenge, a surge of energy and opportunity, an exciting new task. In this new Spirit he went out to bring the good news of peace, gradually gathering his community and spreading God’s healing love by his personality, his teaching, and his healing. This is the power which baptism has given to us also, to bring God’s healing and God’s love, to build a community of love which reflects and extends God’s own love. Jesus must have been daunted by the task. He knew it would test him to the limit of his endurance, but he knew he had received the Power of God and put his trust in the Father. He never promised us at baptism that it would be easy to live as Christians, but he did promise us that he would give us strength and power which is the Holy Spirit.In closing Fr Paul notes today’s Gospel Lesson: when we make ourselves open to listening to God’s voice like Jesus did, then anything is possible.