In pictures, Jesus sometimes cradles a lamb or a child. Sometimes he stands in judgment holding a book. Often we see him in agony upon a cross. Sometimes he sits on his mother’s lap looking like a tiny king.
If you were asked to draw Jesus, what would he look like?
Who do you know Jesus to be?next >
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one about whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is really greater than me because he existed before me.’ Even I didn’t recognize him, but I came baptizing with water so that he might be made known to Israel.” John testified, “I saw the Spirit coming down from heaven like a dove, and it rested on him. Even I didn’t recognize him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit coming down and resting is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and testified that this one is God’s Son.”
John 1:29-34next >
Have you ever walked into a room and seen someone you never expected to be there? We often do a double take, trying to make sense of the unexpected. John had a different problem, he was going everywhere looking for God’s lamb, for God’s own son. He knew he would see this person; he just didn’t know when or where. He finally recognizes Jesus as the child of God sent to heal the world. And he’s surprised. Twice, he says, “Even I didn’t recognize him.”
Figuring out who Jesus is can be like that. We read scripture; we pray; we listen to parents and pastors and teachers. And yet, it’s easy to miss Jesus. To miss God’s saving, healing presence right here with us. John reminds us to pay attention, to look and listen for Jesus in our daily routines. To pay attention to the small joys and accomplishments of our day where Jesus is revealed, to notice where God’s son brings new wholeness and joy.
Phillip Facklernext >
Loving God, you are closer to me than my own breath. Help me to know Jesus in my own life, to find his presence in the joys and heartaches of each and every day. Tune my heart to Jesus’ presence, so I, like John, can speak with confidence your saving help. Amen.next >
Jesus spoke to the people again, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me won’t walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
Phillip Fackler is an Episcopal priest, aspiring academic, and resident of Raleigh, NC. Occasionally, he can be found attempting to reason with his young children, relaxing outdoors with his family, or wandering an art museum.
Advent: Of the Father’s Love Begotten