At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee. – Mark 1:9 (Mark 1:9-13)
Skipper’s Sun grew up in a region always on edge. Centuries of conflict between one sect and ah nudder, between different beliefs, diverse backgrounds and races and loyalties left folks distrustful of one ah nudder. Bandits roamed about. Zealots terrorized folks. Rome ruled, but due ter its distance from seats of power, much of Galilee remained under the control of whatever local militia might ‘ave the most power. Bribes be expected, beatings the punishment fer them who refused. This be the neighborhood the Sun come from.
So when Nathanael asked, “Can any good thing come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46) it be a right fair question. It be like asking if anything good kin come from the slums of Bristol.
But at age thirty, the son of a carpenter sets out from Nazareth with no influence, no followers, no formal rabbinic teaching, and no expectations from others that he ‘ill amount ter anything.
Only a few know him ter be Skipper’s Sun and most dare not speak of it.
Down ter the Jordan River he walks. Thar the Sun finds his cousin, John, calling folks ter repent, confess thar sins, and be baptized. Now the Sun doth not ‘ave ah thing ter repent of. He ne’re committed a sin. Other folks don’ know this, though, so ter set things right from the start, the Sun wades in ter the Jordan ter show that being washed clean of our filthy living be the first step towards turning ter Skipper.
Ah good many folks ‘ill make all manner and excuses fer why they don’ need ter be baptized. Folks bathe. Folks shower. Folks frolic in ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, and sea. But they won’ take a dip fer Skip? Don’ make sense.
Some claim they had water sprinkled on thar head when they was a tiny tot, or they was baptized once, but kin not remember when, or being baptized be an out-dated way of showing ya be a follower of the Sun.
Only think on this: if the Sun, Skipper’s only boy, thought it worth his time ter take a dip, could it not be a thing ya ought ter do as well?
The Sun seen the heavens opening. Now that be an odd thing ter see in it self, but then Skipper’s Holy Ghost of Truth descended upon Him in the way a dove might come ter alight on a branch.
A voice came from the heavens: “You are My beloved Son. In You I m well pleased.”
Kin Skipper say the same ’bout ya? ‘Ave ya done the first things first? Or did ya head off on yer walk with the Sun without taking the steps he took at the start?
We be called ter follow the Sun, not get ahead of him. Walk in the ways he walks. Start at the start. Start from whatever hood ya come from.
If a feller or lass says ter ya, “Ya ‘ill ne’er amount ter anything,” don’ ya believe it fer a second.
Be baptized in ter the Sun and ya ‘ill become Skipper’s child. If ya ne’re do anything else, that right thar be a right fair accomplishment. Take a dip and sail on, brothers and sisters. Take a dip and sail on.
Where ever ya be sailing, that be whar ya ‘ill most like end up. Plot yer course with Skipper and his Sun.
Pirate fact: “Keelhauling” be a form of punishment whar by a length of rope would be tied ’round and under the ship’s hull. the grievous breaker of ship’s rules then be tied ter the rope and plunged under the ship. Back and forth, up and down the feller would go ’till he be drowned dead or cut ter shreds by barnacles. Even pirates knowed thar be punishment fer breaking the captain’s code of conduct. Lubbers might think on this a wee bit when they be tempted ter break Skippers Code of Conduct.