Year C Epiphany 1 WEDNESDAY, 12 January 2022
St. James the Less Episcopal, Ashland, VA
Collect: O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The next day he saw Jesus coming towards 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).
The season of Epiphany is all about the declaration to the world who this person Jesus is.
Often the portrayal of Jesus in paintings is entitled, Ecce Homo quoting Pontius Pilate after Jesus’ scourging. The Latin comes from St. Jerome’s Vulgate. “Behold the man!”
We see several seeing Jesus for who he is in our reading.
John declares that he is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit, and that he is the “Lamb of God.” The vision that he received made it clear for him that he was the one.
Then John shared it with two of his followers. One of them was St. Andrew, who shared it with his brother, St. Peter.
We all have ways we were given the image of this one, the Man, the Messiah. We all also have ways we tell the world how we understand and how seriously we take this one, however we see him.
How do we declare who Jesus is? How do our lives say, “Behold the Man!”
Pilate respected Jesus, and had a grudging admiration of him. It was hard to let him go, and he was not willing to take the political fallout for releasing him.
We have a hard time knowing how what we live and what we project will be seen and heard. But that is not our responsibility. We trust the Holy Spirit to precede us, and to lay the groundwork for what our recipients need to see and hear. Just like John the Baptizer. He heard the Spirit, and it was confirmed by the events at hand.
As has been said to be an apocryphal statement of St. Francis, “Preach at all times, when necessary use words.” How does your life preach the Christ?
Think on that today.
Protect yourself, friends. How we behave and care for one another during these crazy days shows how seriously we take the mandate of Christ to care for the “least of these.” Amen