Behold the Lamb of God

Watching for the morning of January 19

Year A

The Second Sunday after Epiphany:

File:Licht der Welt (Bremer Dom).jpg

By Immanuel Giel (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The themes of Epiphany – Christ revealed to the nations, Christ the light of the world – continue this Sunday.  The prophet Isaiah sings again of the servant of the Lord who is a light to the nations.  The psalmist sings a song of deliverance and bears witness to all of God’s faithfulness and salvation.  Paul begins his correspondence with his fractious congregation in Corinth, acknowledging their many gifts but reminding them that they are part of a larger community called into a new life.  John the Baptist points to Jesus as the Lamb of God in whom the world is reborn and Jesus’ first disciples seek him out.

This is a season like those time-lapse images of a blooming flower.  The story of Jesus unfolds from Christmas: arriving at the Jordan, he is baptized and anointed with God’s Spirit, then gathers disciples and begins his ministry declaring the dawning reality of God’s reign.  The light shines.  God has drawn near.  In words and deeds we see the bursting forth of God’s life and grace into the world.

Lent will remind us that this will not be an easy path, and Good Friday will take us back to the horror of Herod’s first attempt to kill Jesus, but death will not hold back the dawning of God’s redemption of the earth.  The grave will be opened, and our weekly celebration of the resurrection will continue through the whole narrative of Jesus’ teaching and deeds until we are pointed again to the horizon of history and the fulfillment of God’s promises.

“Behold the Lamb of God,” John says, the one in whom all things are made new.  Like Andrew we will follow, bringing others with us to bear witness to this one who abides in God and God in him.

The Prayer for January 19, 2014

Gracious God,
in the simple invitation to “Come and see,”
Jesus invited Andrew to follow
and, in following, to see
that Jesus abides in you and you in him.
Grant us courage to follow
that, through the words and deeds of Jesus your anointed,
we may see the font of all grace and truth,
and abide in your light and life.

The Texts for January 19, 2014

First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-7
“I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” – The servant of the Lord is sent not just to restore Israel but as a light to all nations.  As with last Sunday’s reading, the followers of Jesus find this message about God’s servant embodied and fulfilled in Jesus.

Psalmody: Psalm 40:1-11
“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire.” – A song of deliverance and trust in God.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9
“You are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” –
Paul begins his letter to his troubled congregation in Corinth with a greeting celebrating the gifts of the Sprit they have received but reminding them that they are connected to a great community of believers.

Gospel: John 1:29-42
“Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother… found his brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’” – John the Baptist bears witness to Jesus as the Lamb of God upon whom the Spirit of God descended, and the first disciples come to Jesus.

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