John 1:29 “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, ‘Here is the Lab of God who takes away the sin of the world!’”
I am a city slicker. The only sheep and lambs I have seen close up have been at the stock show when it comes to town. I think lambs are cute and soft and cuddly but I know lambs meant something different and much more to the Hebrew people that John was speaking to. First, lambs were taken care of by the shepherds and provided much of their livelihood with wool and meat. Even more so they were a symbol of the Passover sacrifice and each year they would remember the lamb sacrifice and blood that saved them from death in Egypt. I cannot begin to imagine what went through the minds of the people gathered to hear John speak and maybe be baptized by him. I know what goes through my mind when I read this passage in John now. A small baby in a manger came to us innocent and untainted. He was born in a stable filled with hay and animals, noises and smells of a barn. He came, a pure and holy child to be the sacrifice for us all. Was he cute and cuddly – maybe at first, but he was also powerful and kingly, gentle and loving, the Lamb of God.
Let us not forget the reason this small babe in a manger, you, came to earth to begin with. The wise men knew to pay you homage. Mary and Joseph were told your destiny but when we see the little babe, just a lamb, it is easy to forget you are King of all and Rule of my heart. Thank you for coming, we celebrate as we wait for you to come again. Amen.