It is common to see paintings of John the Baptist with his hand outstretched pointing those who would listen to see Jesus. On Christmas it was easy enough to point to the manger in Bethlehem, but do our lives show others the grace and love of Jesus throughout our days?
Special Worship schedule for this week: 10:00 a.m. Sunday (one service only)
No Saturday worship this week
December 29, 2013
Key Verses: “John answered them, ‘I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.’”
Time: about 30 CE
Background: John the Baptist lived in the wilderness before Jesus’ ministry became public. He baptized and proclaimed the coming of one who would baptize with the Holy Spirit.
His testimony unnerved many who were in power. When one comes to bring grace and peace, and to overthrow the bondage to the law, those in power become threatened. They sought out John to discover who he was and in whose name he spoke. John made it clear it was Jesus who came to save, and that he had been sent to proclaim Jesus’ arrival.
“Lamb of God” would have conjured images of a sacrificial lamb. Such a sacrifice was not historically for the forgiveness of sins, but to celebrate and recognize God’s deliverance at the celebration of the Passover. Early Christians were the first to recognize Jesus as the sacrificial lamb for the forgiveness of sins.
Community: Which voices in our world speak for God? What do they say? Who is listening? How can your community of faith be more intentional about seeking and listening for God’s voice?
At Home: In what ways has God delivered you from bondage to sin? How is that deliverance reflected in your daily life?
Read This Week:
Monday, Dec 30, The Joy of Forgiveness, Psalm 32:1-2
Tuesday, Dec 31, The Joy of Forgiveness, Psalm 32:3-4
Wednesday, Jan 1, The Joy of Forgiveness, Psalm 32:5
Thursday, Jan 2, The Joy of Forgiveness, Psalm 32:6-7
Friday, Jan 3, The Joy of Forgiveness, Psalm 32:8-9
Saturday, Jan 4, The Joy of Forgiveness, Psalm 32:10-11
Next Week: Sunday, Jan 5, John Baptizes, John 1:35-51