Back in the day when people wanted to start something new such as installing a new priest at the temple, or putting a new statue of Ceaser on some corner of a Roman street, there would be pomp and circumstance and speeches. There would be food handed out to the poor and sumptuous banquets for the big shots. Banners and bouquets of flowers would be festooned in the area and of course large crowds would gather whether they knew what was going on or not. All of the speeches and party atmosphere were important, but the true reason for the gathering was to look for “auguries”. How did the birds act as they flew over the celebration? Were there strange clouds or weird events. If there were, how did they give a picture of the future.
I’m sitting here watching the lead up to the inauguration today and listening to the auguries. Did the outgoing president leave a letter for the incoming president or vice a versa and if so what does it mean? This leader went to church this morning with that leader and what does that mean? People were assigned seats and what does that mean and on an on it goes.
Then I started thinking about Jesus inauguration. What was it? His baptism. What were the auguries? Heaven opened, the voice of the Father speaking gracious words and action of the bird – the Holy Spirit as a dove. What did it mean? God’s love poured in all, mercy for all and peace through the blood if Jesus cross.