Posts Tagged ‘1-15-2017’

Behold God is in Our Midst 1-15-2017

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

The character of John the Baptist is someone we usually meet around Christmas but over the last two weeks he has played a major role in launching Jesus on his three-year mission. Some scholars say John the Baptist’s role was to point people to Jesus… “Look! There’s the Lamb of God…Look! God is in our midst.” Pointing people to Jesus and then getting out of the way and letting Jesus work in people’s lives.
I believe that this Sunday reminds us that as baptized Christians it is our role to point people to Jesus and to get out of the way like John the Baptist. We may do this in very different ways than John the Baptist, but we need to do it each in our own way.
An eight-year old boy is facing surgery. He asks his doctor, “What’s it like to die?” Neither the doctor nor anyone else on the medical staff can answer this question directly – but one hospital employee can. She isn’t a doctor or nurse or child psychologist. She cleans the floors. One night the boy asks her, “Are you afraid of dying?” She puts down her mop, looks up from the floor and replies, “Yes, I am, but I do something about it.” She talks to the boy as an equal, not as a superior. She tells him that she believes in God and finds comfort in the words of Jesus. The two talk for a long time. She has put the boy at peace simply by listening to him. Behold, the Lamb of God…
A high school student is struggling with his algebra homework. The frustration builds and the teenager slams the book shut. His father comes into the kitchen and asks if he can help, but the teenager says, “They didn’t even have algebra in your day.” Defeated and angry, the boy goes off to bed. At 4:00 A.M., his dad shakes his son awake and sits him back down at the kitchen table. The father, who works two jobs as a janitor and a chauffeur, sat up all night to read the algebra book from cover to cover. He worked the problems through until he understood them enough to be able to explain them to his son. With his dad tutoring him, the student finally grasps the equations and completes his homework. That night, a father taught his son much more than algebra. Behold, the Lamb of God…
Within a month, she had lost both her father and her mother. It was something neither she nor her husband knew how to deal with. She was devastated; getting through the days was often more than she could handle. He thought he might be able to lessen the blow by being a more attentive spouse or more romantic husband. He felt more and more inadequate at not being able to do something to alleviate her grief. Then the night came for them to see the musical Wicked. The tickets had been bought months before. The two lead sang a song that always reminded her of her mother. That’s when he realized his role: to be there to hold her hand, to have Kleenex at the ready, to let her know he would be there when the music ended and the lights came back on. Behold, the Lamb of God…
I close…
In every act of selfless generosity and humble compassion, the Lamb of God walks in our midst. Everyone of us – of every profession and age group, possessing every talent, skill and ability – has been called, as the Baptizer was called, to point to the Christ, the Lamb of God, dwelling among us and walking with us in our doubts, our hurts, our fears. John declared his witness in preaching and baptizing at the Jordan; our witness can be declared in less vocal but no less effective vehicles: in our compassion for others, in our uncompromising moral and ethical convictions, in our everyday sense of joy and peace.
Behold, God is in our midst! Amen.