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 tha control of whatever local militia might ‘ave tha most power. Bribes be expected, beatings tha punishment fer them who refused. This be tha neighborhood tha 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 tha slums of Bristol.
But at age thirty, tha 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 tha Jordan River he walks. Thar tha Sun finds his cousin, John, calling folks ter repent, confess thar sins, and be baptized. Now tha 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 tha start, tha Sun wades in ter tha Jordan ter show that being washed clean of our filthy living be tha 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 tha Sun. Only think on this: if tha 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?
Tha Sun seen tha heavens opening. Now that be an odd thing ter see in it self, but then Skipper’s Holy Spirit of Truth descended upon Him in tha 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 tha same ’bout ya? ‘Ave ya done tha first things first? Or did ya head off on yer walk with tha Sun without taking tha steps he took at tha start?
We be called ter follow tha Sun, not get ahead of him. Walk in tha ways he walks. Start at tha 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 tha 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. Sail on.