Daily reading: 15 January
Lamb of God
Something to read
The next day he saw Jesus coming towards him and declared, ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
- John 1:29..
Something to think about
Over the next few days, our readings invite us to explore sin and sacrifice, themes we might expect to see at Lent and Easter, rather than this early in the year. But in liturgical traditions, this season is Epiphany, the time that the Church celebrates the revelation of Jesus to the world. Today, John the Baptist points out the still unknown Jesus to his own disciples, and makes a significant statement about his identity.
Sin is not a particularly fashionable concept, but the Bible is full of rich metaphors to help us understand it: sin is missing the target; straying from the path; a burden to be borne; a debt to be paid; a stain to be cleansed; a crouching lion at the door. Some Christian theological traditions tend towards treating sin, and salvation from it, as almost entirely a personal and individual matter. But in the Hebrew Scriptures, it is more often the sins of a community that are highlighted; whole nations are called to turn back to God.
As John points to Jesus, we learn the scandalous nature of God’s grace: this sacrificial lamb has come not just to take away the sin of one or two special people, but of the whole world.
Something to do
Draw a visual representation of the collective sins of the world, as you imagine them to be. Giving heed to safety, burn your picture as you imagine what it might mean for Christ to take away those sins.
(If burning the paper is not practical for you, choose another way to destroy it and apply to the next three days!)
Something to pray
Jesus, Lamb of God, thank you that you came to take away the sins of the world, and for the forgiveness and redemption you offer. Help me to play my part in calling people away from the sins of injustice, violence and oppression, and towards your kingdom where sin has no place. Amen.
Today’s contributor is Rev Claire Jones
Published on 15 January 2023