This week we have read the passage in Matthew 3:13-17 about Jesus' baptism and then again the other night we read it from John 1:29-42.  In Matthew's version there is a voice from heaven which says "this is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased" and in John's version we just get the dove from heaven, which indicated to John the baptist that this is the "Lamb of God".  In each version though Jesus is claimed as someone significant.  He belongs to God and God's mission in the world.

We all look to belong or try hard to belong in a group.  We want to be claimed and the real thing is we already are.  God claims us all as God's children.  There are ways in which we as humans would like to limit that, but really there is no limitation, the limitations are set in our own minds and hearts, not God's.  Jesus demonstrated this by talking to the people who didn't belong:  the woman at the well, blind people, lepers, all the unclean of the day.  He didn't just touch their lives for a second he actually went and had dinner at their houses (Simon the leper Matt. 26:6), he broke bread with two disciples whose names we never know but we know the road they met on, Emmaus (Luke 24:13).

Belonging isn't something we have to do or prove we are already claimed.  We just have to listen to God's voice and hear that we are God's child.  Sometimes that means we have to demonstrate that to others who have been hurt by this world.  It does change us if we start to live it.