Crossing the Rubicon

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Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?”  John 1:38a ESV

The Rubicon river is a short, shallow river of little importance about 200 miles northwest of Rome. The Roman Empire had a law that forbade any Roman military general leading a standing army from crossing the Rubicon River and entering Italy proper. To do so was considered treason. Julius Caesar’s crossing the Rubicon river on January 10, 49 BC precipitated the Roman Civil War, which ultimately led to Caesar’s becoming dictator and the rise of the imperial era of Rome. Crossing that shallow little river was more monumental than what it might have appeared.

We still echo the significant of Caesar’s actions when we say “well, they’ve crossed the Rubicon” noting when something important has transpired. When you look back at your life, can you identify any “Rubicon crossings” that had a long-lasting impact on your education, career or family?

The start of Jesus’ public ministry also started at a river. In one sense, Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan certainly didn’t look like it was a monumental event. It occurred on the far fringes of the Roman Empire in the middle of the wasteland of Judea. The Jerusalem Times didn’t send a reporter to document the event. No TV cameras, no newspersons, no tweets or social media. I wonder how many people who witnessed the Spirit coming down as a dove really understood what they were seeing.

On Wednesday of this week, our country seems to have “crossed the Rubicon” with the interruption of our Congress’ activities by angry demonstrators. While this sad event marks a clear departure from previous norms, I would suggest our response as followers of Jesus should be prayerful instead of divisive. Let’s work hard to find common ground and be careful that our words and social media posts avoid acrimony as we speak the truth in love.

This weekend at Trinity Downtown we will be pondering the impact of Jesus’ baptism and the start of His public ministry. Join us in-person at our contemporary worship service on Saturday at 5:00 pm or our traditional worship service on Sunday at 9:00 am. Reservations are required to attend either in-person worship service; you can see the details at www.trinitydt.org.  You may also make a reservation by calling Stefanie at 713.224.0684 from 8:30-2:30 each weekday. If you are not comfortable attending an in-person service, you can watch the “live stream” of our Satellite Service at 5:00 pm on Saturday, or our traditional service on Sunday at 9:00 am by clicking here. And, of course, you may also participate by watching either of these services “on demand” by clicking here.

Our ongoing COVID-related protocols are designed to make our in-person worship services as safe as possible. Let me express my appreciation to everyone for their compliance with the protocols, especially mask-wearing. It’s a tangible way we can truly love our neighbor.

Here’s two other ways you can deepen your understanding of God’s Word this week:

Come learn how recognizing the true extent of God’s love for each of us can lessen your stress load and restore your joy. Set aside time this weekend to celebrate with us the depth of Jesus’ love, and find out how you can live a life of significance, filled with meaning.  Come make new friends and renew old ones.

Like the Magi, let’s keep diligently seeking Him in 2021. This weekend, come and hear about how you can restore your joy by putting your faith in what Jesus has done for us. It will make a tremendous difference in your life.