A Beautiful Morning on the Jordan
Purple clouds paraded in the eastern sky, finally giving way to yellow, then orange, then white.
It was a beautiful morning after all the recent rains.
Our father walked in and announced, "Yesterday, I heard about the new prophet, the one called John. He was preaching down by the Jordan river. He is the talk of the town! I'm very curious and I'm going to check it out for myself. Please wait here, where it is safe, until I return."
Mother was concerned, but Father's steadfast confidence calmed her, as it always did. After a little while, I asked Mother if my brother and I could play outside.
"Don't go too far..." she said, as she picked up a couple of dishes. "We're going to eat soon."
"Yes, mother!" we said in unison, running outside, almost in-step.
I thought about what Father said... and his curiosity rubbed off on me: I wanted to see and hear this John for myself, too!
"Hey, I have an idea..."
"Oh oh, we all know what happens when THAT happens!"
"Oh, just hush-up, would you, just for a minute?! We could sneak down to the river, and see what's happening--I know all the back roads--it would be an adventure!"
My brother laughed as he said, "I was thinking the same thing!"
We found our sticks that we used as "weapons" on all of our adventures, and we headed down the muddy back roads. A wild dog tried to attack us, but we drove it away with our sticks!
The river was a few miles away, so it took us awhile. About halfway there, I started feeling guilty. I thought I heard Mother getting mad, then sad--crying--but it was just my conscience. Finally, we could hear John's voice in the wind from afar. It was a compelling voice: he spoke with great authority. Kind of like Father, only louder, and stronger.
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" (NKJV)
Crawling to the top of the river bank we saw hundreds of people gathered there.
John baptized every person who came to him, repenting.
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"
Then, something wonderful happened.
Jesus from Galilee came to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent
Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”
But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
"Wow! Did you see that!? That was awesome!" I said to my brother. Dozens of people turned and stared at us, wondering who was making all the noise.
One of them was our Father.
He ran up the bank, and caught me by the arm. "I thought I told you to wait at home! What are you doing here?!?"
"I'm sorry, sir, I, we, were just curious, like you, too, and--"
The scared look on my brother's face must have calmed him down. "We'll explain it to your mother later."
Father led us down to the river. I had no idea what he was going to do. I thought, "This is it. I'm going to die. He's going to drown us!"
We waded in, together. Seeing the tears in all of our eyes, John baptized all three of us, knowing we had repented. When my brother came up out of the water, we all started laughing, as we looked up. At the top of the bank, Mother stood there, smiling. Father motioned to her, and she came down...
John baptized Mother, too!
Laughing together, we felt that freedom that only comes from turning to God--
It truly was a beautiful morning!
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