Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ Luke 3:21-22
Remember the breakwaters down by the waves
I first found my courage
Knowing daddy could save
I could hold back the tide
With my dad by my side
‘Father, Son’ Peter Gabriel
‘Father, Son’ by Peter Gabriel gives a heartbreaking voice to the complex relationship between fathers and sons. The struggle for understanding, the distance and love, are hauntingly portrayed in this song.
The pain that comes from a father’s withdrawal leaves a deep hole in the heart. Yet, the power of a father’s affirmation makes alive.
Our gospel reading speaks to the power of a father’s affirmation. When Jesus was baptized, he heard the voice of God. And through this affirmation Jesus knew who he was, and he was ready to go out with confidence and boldly embody the love of God, and proclaim the kingdom of God’s rule to all people.
In baptism, we too are given this beautiful affirmation. Whatever our relationship has been with our own fathers, we have received the greatest of all affirmations from our heavenly father through the waters of baptism. God says to us too, “You are my daughter and my son, my beloved. With you I am well pleased.”