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Wednesday 26 May 2010

The Baptism of Jacob - Excerpt from 'Fifth Gospel'

He crossed his hands over his chest as he had seen others do, and the Baptiser immersed him into the water. He held his breath. An instant stretched to eternity, an eternity fashioned an instant. Full of fear, fear and panic, and fear again, he held to his heart, for harder tests had he withstood. Finally, he let go his dread of death and allowed the water to wash over him.

He was dying and in this dying something began to prise open the eyes of his soul, to reveal not the form-dwindling water, but something else – the weaving of his life in picture forms. Everything lay around him: his accomplishments and his many failings; his desires; his passions and his weaknesses; all of his vices and his sins; all the defilement of this life’s journey and the dust of his misplaced hopes and dreams. All the content of his life until now, was added to the river’s many voices. By way of the stream’s sacrifice, these remnants floated away from him, leaving him clean. Now, a vision of profound beauty was granted him, so great and so mighty as to cause him to feel the very ground of his being shaken with love.
He saw, in his mind’s eye, a man carrying a lamb on his shoulder.

Of a sudden, he was lifted out of the water and he gasped for breath. He felt life enter into the dead parts of his soul. He heard a voice, ‘Arise, you have seen the good shepherd!’

Jacob knew his wound was healed, and his pain was eased! He had found harmony in the stream of his life, for in the river’s stream, he had found his salvation.

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