The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, 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 before me, because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” John 1:29-34
I have had the great pleasure of spending time on the Navajo reservation this past few days. It has been a great delight to renew old friendships and to forge new ones. It was a time of celebration since there were two wonderful people being ordained deacons. The joy was overwhelming. We sang and prayer and danced together. It was a time of renewal and fellowship. Driving around, there were sheep everywhere and I thought back to last spring when I got to go to sheep camp and bottle feed a little lamb. So much love, so much vulnerability.
John identifies his relative, Jesus, as the lamb of God. Magnificent, love incarnate and so very vulnerable. The lamb is so essential to John's people as it is to the Navajo. Sheep are life and food and warmth. John is telling us that Jesus is love made real to us, fully vulnerable, offering his life for the good of all the people. We are so beloved of God that the Divine would offer one so perfect, rare and completely made for us.
Today, as I travel home, I ask God to strengthen me in the days to some. May I remember the awesome sacrifice of the Lamb of God, and all who have sacrificed for love. May we be ever grateful for that love made real in our lives today.