PASTOR BRAD'S PAGE
January 13, 2019
In our gospel lesson this week (Luke 3:15-17, 21-22), Luke tells us that after Jesus is baptized, he’s praying, the heavens open, the Holy Spirit descends on him like a dove and a voice from heaven declares, “You are my Son, the Beloved, with you I am well pleased.”
This begs the question, “Why?” Why is God pleased? Jesus ministry hasn’t started yet. Usually praise and affirmation come after someone has done something, not before. But here, God give Jesus praise and affirmation before he even begins his ministry.
Jesus begins his ministry hearing these words of praise and affirmation from God. Jesus begins his ministry hearing God say, “You are my child and I love you and I affirm you, not because of what you’ve done, but because of who you are.”
That’s what God is like with God’s love. We are God’s beloved. God says to us, “You are mine. I love you. With you I am pleased. Not because of what you’ve done, but because of who you are.”
Sisters and brothers, hear these words. Believe them. They are true. You are God’s beloved, with you God is pleased, not because of what you’ve done, but because, like Jesus, you too are a child of God. Amen.
Rev. Bradley A. Walmer,
a 2008 graduate of Lancaster Theological Seminary, where he received his Master of Divinity degree and was awarded the 2008 Rev. Delores Berry prize for preaching. He was ordained into Christian ministry by the Lebanon Association of the Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ on June 1, 2008. Prior to beginning his pastorate here at New Covenant on August 1, 2015, he served as the pastor of St. Paul’s Summer Hill UCC in Auburn, Pa (located southeast of Pottsville, PA).
Pastor Brad and his wife Michelle were born and raised in Lebanon County and now reside in the area with their dog, Chloe.