God blesses us with this gift to create which we see majestically and mysteriously portrayed in the first creation story in Genesis 1. Light was the first creation, done in the presence of the Spirit of God over the primal waters. The distinction of light over darkness is a basic literary theme. John's gospel will begin with light and Spirit as that gospel depicts a different kind of creation story focused on the Word/Logos of God.
The Spirit and its light come to the fore in the account of Jesus' baptism in Mark's gospel. Mark's account is terse, a characteristic of Mark throughout his gospel. We might wonder how Jesus got there, particularly since Mark has no birth story like Matthew and Luke.
Looking at what we can discern about John the Baptist and his ministry of baptism, we realize that what John was doing was not like what we do in baptism rituals today. In considering his community and his practice, we expect that his community was turned in on itself, the faithful having been purified and made clean in anticipation of the imminent arrival of the Messiah and the end of the age amid judgment and tribulations.
Jesus' ministry seems markedly different, emphasizing reaching out, ministering, and working to allow God's promise in each person to find avenues for fulfillment. What's clear here and in Genesis is the notion that God is creating new things through the Spirit, that God is involved and active in the work of creation even now.
Explore these topics by viewing the sermon video below, and noting the downloads available below the video panel.