Fr Paul Gooley reads from the Gospel of Mark (1: 6-11) in which, as Jesus was coming up out of the water after John baptized him, a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, the beloved; my favour rests on you.” Fr Paul says we might just reflect for a moment – what do we think Jesus experienced at his baptism that we hear of today? His experience 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 beginning, a thrill of challenge, a surge of energy and opportunity, an exciting new task. In this new Spirit Jesus 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 he put his trust in his 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 the surge of strength and power which is the Holy Spirit.