December 4th: The Lamb of God

 

     When I see Jesus referred to as The Lamb of God I think of His baptism by John (John 1 – 29, 36), and to The Lamb, sacrificed and resurrected for our sins (Romans 5:1-11).  But in a re-found book by W. Phillip Keller titled “A Layman Looks at the Lamb of God”,     I discovered new insights to the name.  Keller writes of the clothing for Adam and Eve that may have been from a lamb sacrificed by; of Abel’s sacrifice; of Abraham and Isaac; of the Passover lamb in Egypt; and, of many references in Isaiah.  I found the following passage enlightening and meaningful.

 

     The measure of our “closeness,” our communion, our compatibility is not one of

     distance but of unity, agreement, love and mutual acceptance.

     Incredible as it may sound, the responsibility for establishing this bond of

     affection and oneness between God and a sheep gone astray has been laid upon

     The Lamb of God.  He it is who comes to seek and save the lost strays, to draw them back.

     In the traditional life of the eastern shepherds, the stray sheep were always retrieved

     and gathered up by the shepherd’s pet lamb.   Every shepherd owned a special,

     hand-reared pet lamb who was considered almost as affectionately as his own children.

     Like a veritable shadow, wherever the shepherd went, the pet lamb followed. And

     whenever the shepherd set out into the wild pastures, the upland range or rough

     hill country to gather his stray stragglers, full responsibility for their safe return

     rested on the pet lamb.

     It was the pet lamb who came alongside the lost ones, who fed side by side with

     them, who called to them, who influenced them to follow him gently back to the

     master’s fold.  It was the pet lamb, who, at the close of the day as the sun set over

     the western hills, came home in the master’s footprints, faithfully bringing the

     strays with him.

     The term “bellwether” refers to this special lamb who often wears a bell), bringing

     the stray sheep back to the fold, back to the shepherd.  The divine Bellwether is The

     Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.  Even out of the most difficult circumstances to which

     our own waywardness and selfishness have brought us, He gently but firmly nudges

     us in the right direction.  In love and compassion and care, He comes to call us back

      to God our Father and home where we belong.

 

Prayer:  Holy Father, at this time when we celebrate the birth of your Son, may we also remember your Lamb.  Thank you for your grace and faithfulness to us.  May we also be faithful to You.  In Jesus name, Amen.

     Submitted by George Menhorn, Deacon