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A righteous act

A righteous act

Something to read

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfil all righteousness.’ Then he consented.

- Matthew 3:13-15.

Something to think about

John, calling people to repent of their sins and be baptized, wondered if he’d got the wrong end of the stick when Jesus showed up in the queue. I’m glad he had the courage to ask Jesus the obvious question: why do you need this? But the answer wasn’t necessarily as clear as John, or we, might hope for!

The phrase ‘to fulfill all righteousness’ has become a bit of a tongue-in-cheek term in my family for something that is right, even if you don’t really understand it! Jesus was embarking on a life of wholehearted dedication and obedience to God, which would embody ‘righteousness’ in the Hebrew sense: right orientation of heart, right motives and will, right and just actions. In baptism, Jesus said ‘no’ to everything that could have tempted him, in order to fully say ‘yes’ to all that God would ask of him in the years ahead. 

When we say ‘yes’ to God in the same way, it might be perfectly clear what God is calling us to, where and why. Or, it might be that we don’t completely understand God’s purposes. But we can still show up, day after day, offering ourselves in God’s service ‘to fulfill all righteousness’.

Something to do

List the tasks that you know have to be done in your day, or week. Highlight the ones that are clearly ways to serve God or other people. Draw a wiggly line under those that seem pointless or unfulfilling. As you pray, offer all of them to God in worship.


Something to pray

God of righteousness, thank you that you call me to live a life of love for you and others, and for every opportunity I have to fulfill that call. Help me to find joy in the obvious acts of service I do, and also in those to which I can’t see a point. Please make use of everything I offer in some way. Amen


Today’s contributor is Rev Claire Jones