Monday, January 9, 2017

The Second Sunday after the Epiphany/in Ordinary Time (A), January 15, 2017 - Isaiah 49:1-7 and John 1:29-42

John the Baptist Identifies Jesus as the Lamb of God

Isaiah 49:1-17

Proof Text

This text is proof you cannot separate 
First person singular from plural - 
At least not when it comes to faith,
Where one's salvation is no cure-all;
Isaiah segues back and forth,
The "me" once named and called, the nation,
But noting that he's called, as well,
Proclaims both born God's good creation.
The nation and the prophet, both,
Were called by God to be a blessing,
Through thick and thin, though down and out,
Our job's God's love for all professing.

Scott L. Barton

Listen to me, O coastlands, 
pay attention, you peoples from far away! 
The Lord called me before I was born, 
while I was in my mother’s womb he named me. 
He made my mouth like a sharp sword, y
in the shadow of his hand he hid me; 
he made me a polished arrow, 
in his quiver he hid me away. 
And he said to me, “You are my servant, 
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” 
But I said, “I have labored in vain, 
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; 
yet surely my cause is with the Lord, 
and my reward with my God.” 

And now the Lord says, 
who formed me in the womb to be his servant, 
to bring Jacob back to him, 
and that Israel might be gathered to him, 
for I am honored in the sight of the Lord, 
and my God has become my strength— 
he says, 
"It is too light a thing that you should be my servant 
to raise up the tribes of Jacob 
and to restore the survivors of Israel; 
I will give you as a light to the nations, 
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Thus says the Lord, 
the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, 
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations, 
the slave of rulers, 
"Kings shall see and stand up, 
princes, and they shall prostrate themselves, 
because of the Lord, who is faithful, 
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

+  +  +

John 1:29-42

What's In a Name?

This is another text brimming with names,
"Here is the Lamb of God," the Baptist claims;
Then it's not long until "Lamb," is ,"the Son!"
Thinking of these, I then wonder, "Which one?"
Lamb of God? Son of God? Which will it be?
Maybe there is a progression to see?
But, two disciples of John start with this -
"Rabbi!" they say (although not with a kiss!)
Then it's not long 'til "Messiah" he's called!
Don't get attached to one name above all,
John (the Evangelist) here seems to say;
Jesus is more than just one sobriquet -
Son of God, Rabbi, Messiah or Lamb,
Jesus is surely, "I am who I am!"
You and I, too, aren't just stuck in one place,
"Simon" can quickly be "Cephas," by grace;
Maybe it just all depends where you are -
What you are called - when, what matters, by far:
You are inscribed on the walls of God's heart,
Brimming with love, which for you, won't depart.

Scott L. Barton

The next day he 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).

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