Friday, December 9, 2011
The image put forth by the Baptizer in John's gospel is one which overshadows the trivial things which most often captivate our attention in these day of December. When John speaks of Jesus as "the Lamb of God," our thoughts immediately go to a deeper place than the secular voices take us. Even before we see baby Jesus in the manger surrounded by the adoring nativity crowd, we are caused to see Him as One who has come to die. However, his death is not a normal death, but one which has life giving power for each one of us who in faith says, "Yes" to what He has done for us.
To meditate on "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world," (John 1:29) brings to mind an older contemporary song and a piece of ancient liturgy. The song which just keeps going over and over in my mind is the one which says, "Behold the Lamb, Behold the Lamb, Slain from the foundations of the world, for sinners crucified, oh, holy sacrifice, Behold the Lamb of God, Behold the Lamb." It is a simple song, but it contains a world of truth. And, then, the piece of liturgy remembered comes from the ritual of Holy Communion. They are words repeated in such a way as to remind us of Simon Peter. As you read these words, allow yourself the freedom to say them aloud. "O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, grant us thy peace."
Whenever we truly allow ourselves to meditate on the image of the Lamb of God, we find ourselves in a place where confession, and adoration, and worship springs forth from our heart. It is a good place to enter into and stay during these days of Advent.