Friday, January 14, 2011

Gospel Text for Sunday, January 16, 2011

John 1:29-42
John saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, "Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, `After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.' I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel." And John testified, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, `He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' 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. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher), "where are you staying?" He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon. 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). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas" (which is translated Peter).


  1. In the wake of the tragic shooting of 13 people in Arizona this week John the Baptist’s words offer hope: “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” John is not talking about individual personal sins, he is talking about world sin, social sin, the “sin of the world” which is the essential separation of humankind from God. We are disoriented or alienated from God because our fundamental inclination is toward personal goain and self-interest rather than toward God and for the common good. Still, we need not despair. Jesus has come into the world, Emmanual, God with us, to reconcile this separation and restore us to right relationship with God and each other.
    I prefer the translation that begins, “Behold, the Lamb of God….” Lay your eyes upon, contemplate, penetrate, study and witness the one “who takes away the sin of the world.” John is calling us to not only recognize God’s presence in the world but also to respond as he did, “I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Lamb of God.” John testified to his experience of God’s presence to two disciples who in turn testified to others. This is the way to take away the sin of the world, to turn humankind, one person at a time, toward God.
    A year ago a group of community and religious leaders gathered and wrote a Civility Covenant. “Each one committed to modeling civil discourse, even with people they disagree with. In a divided world each one made a commitment to model the peace of Christ in their lives and their communities. They recognized that many of us who would never consider violence of the fist have been guilty of violence in our hearts and with our tongues. 

Part of building a better society is relating to others with whom we disagree on important issues without calling them evil. It is out of that work that we recommit ourselves to being peacemakers in our country. “ Please consider learning more about this way of participating in transformation of the sin of the world by visiting "Civility Pledge"

  2. To see the "Civility Pledge" please cut and paste this url into your browser: