Apologies for the incorrect scripture listing for Sunday. Many thanks to John Ritner and Mark Abdelnour for bringing this to my attention. To make it easier to correct in the future, please use my email to contact me directly. Sometimes I make mistakes (though it’s hard for me to admit it). Again, thank you, John.
“Behold the Lamb of God”. Such a declaration from John the Baptist. And it was repeated by John as well as by those who heard him say the words. Even others repeated the declaration and concluded that Jesus is the Messiah. I like to think about how startling this declaration was to hear and even more startling to repeat because it meant the speaker had adopted the statement as fact. Now, turn your thinking a bit—look into the faces of the impoverished, the downtrodden, the sick, those turned away by society. As you look, say “Behold the Lamb of God”.
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John saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! . . .” And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. . . . And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.” The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. . . . One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). . . .
sermons4kids: “What would you tell someone about what Jesus means to you? Whatever Jesus has done for you, tell others so they can know Him too.”
Collect: Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Reflection: Andrew invited his brother Simon Peter to meet Jesus, and Peter’s life was changed forever.
- Do you invite others to come and see Jesus?
- How do you watch and listen for those who might be seeking Jesus?
- Do you trust God to give you gifts for sharing the story of your salvation?
- How then do you show the world God’s love made real in Christ?
Practice: Ask someone to come to a church event with you.
Saint Focus: This week, the focus is on Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton, and Margery Kempe. These three are mystics. It is interesting that the “writings” of Margery Kempe are believed to have been influenced by both Rolle and Hilton. Note in the Introduction, we are called to “witness” to the truth so it appears that both Rolle and Hilton did this. And in turn, Kempe influenced those who came after her. Rolle described purgative ways to become closer to God. One of Hilton’s thoughts is that the soul is transformed to the image and likeness of God. Read more at the link below [from the Calendar of the church year according to the Episcopal Church.]
This week, the saints under consideration were :
- 17; Antony, Abbot in Egypt, 356
- 18; The Confession of Saint Peter the Apostle
- 19; Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton & Margery Kempe, Mystics, 1349, 1396, & c.1440, AND Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, 1095
- 20; Fabian, Bishop and Martyr of Rome, 250
- 21; Agnes & Cecilia, Martyrs at Rome, 304 & c.230
- 22; Vincent, Deacon of Saragossa, and Martyr, 304
Little lamb, who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life and bid thee feed, By the stream & o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight, Softest clothing wooly bright; Making all the vales rejoice!
Little Lamb who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee?
Little Lamb I’ll tell thee, Little Lamb I’ll tell thee!
He is called by thy name, For he calls himself a Lamb;
He is meek & he is mild, He became a little child;
I a child & thou a lamb, We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee. Little Lamb God bless thee
Movies/Videos: “Gospel Road” (1973), who knew—that Johnny Cash produced a movie about Jesus, this is his tale; “The Messiah” (2007), story of Christ from an Iranian perspective; “The gospel of us“, (2012), a contemporary topsy-turvy tale of “Christ”.
image Agnus Dei by Francisco de Zubaran at the Museo de Prado
Read today’s gospel, focusing on the second half. Notice that John sees Jesus walking among the people and calls out “See, the Lamb of God.” Does that have any particular meaning? Yes, it does. John does not point to the heavens, or to a high place on a remote hill, or to a palace. Instead, he points to someone right in the midst of the people—that one is the Lamb of God, that one is God with us (Emmanuel). Such a powerful that the God we worship lives and walks among us. How does that make you feel?
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The liturgy today continues the theme of Epiphany, the manifestation of Jesus as the Christ. Therefore, in today’s Gospel reading we hear the testimony of John the Baptist to Jesus. John recounts the Holy Spirit,s descent at Jesus’ baptism and tells his followers that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Two of John’s disciples then follow Jesus and one of them, Andrew, brings his brother, Simon Peter.
In the first reading, one of the servant songs of Isaiah, God announces that the servant of God will bring not only the people of Israel into God’s household but will be sent to all humankind.
Throughout this Epiphany period, we read from the First Epistle to the Corinthians. This letter of Paul is particularly concerned with the life of the Church as the Body of Christ, for the church is the ongoing manifestation of Christ in the world. The Spirit of God who rested upon Jesus at his baptism dwells in the church and Paul explores the meaning of our membership in Christ’s Body.
Each time we gather to celebrate Eucharist, we are reconstituted as the church. We proclaim the story of God’s salvation, we pray for the church and the world, and in the Eucharistic feast, God reveals our unity with Jesus in the Bread and Wine of Holy Communion. We are revealed by Word and Sacrament to be the Body of Christ in the world.
From The Rite Light: Reflections on the Sunday Readings and Seasons of the Church Year. Copyright © 2007 by Michael W. Merriman. Church Publishing Incorporated, New York.