An old bishop in Washington, D.C., had grown tired of the socials and embassy parties he was expected to attend just about every other day. At one such occasion, he entered the reception room wearily, glanced sourly at the familiar cast of characters and slumped into the nearest easy chair. “A spot of tea, bishop?” the hostess asked demurely. “No tea,” the bishop growled. “Coffee, bishop?” “No coffee!” An understanding woman, the hostess whispered in his ear, “Scotch and water, bishop?” Brightening up, the bishop replied, “No water!”
In today’s Gospel lesson, John the Baptist brightens up (to put it mildly), when he sees Jesus coming toward Him on the banks of the River Jordan. “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,” he cries out. John then offers Jesus, not tea or coffee or anything stronger, only water — for John is at the river, baptizing. Matthew’s Gospel tells us that John asks Jesus to baptize him. But…
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