This week's text is John 1:29-42.
"The next day, he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, "here is te Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world... And the next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk b, he exclaimed, "Look, here is the Lamb of God!" The two disciples heard him say this and they followed Jesus."
I substituted quinoa stuffing for traditional bread stuffing. With loads of coconut oil, mushrooms, kale and walnuts, it was delicious! I made a almond flour crust for the pumpkin pie, and I used full fat coconut milk instead of evaporated milk. Again, delicious! With all the coconut going around, I added another dessert – a coconut cream pie with coconut sugar and for the crust – ground figs and walnuts. Yum!
But there were some traditions, we still couldn't change. No one was giving up meat (although last year we had a vegetarian guest and I made a wonderful stuffed acorn squash just for her.) so we had turkey! And with the turkey was mashed potatoes with plenty of butter. And with everything went our family favorite – cranberry sauce with jalapenos, cilantro and lime.
Why am I talking about Thanksgiving?
It's our version of Lamb at a big family feast. When John the Baptist says (twice), Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, his first listeners heard something very different than we do particularly in America, where lamb is not a regular meat option around our tables.
I don't know about you, but I don't picture a Roasted lamb; I picture a fluffy white lamb. And then if I employ a little bit of critical thinking, I picture a beige lamb because there are several around the corner from my house that I occasionally catch a glimpse of.
We don't think of the Lamb of God as something to be killed, butchered, roasted and served to those around a table who have gathered to celebrate the holy occasion of Passover. We don't realize that the “Lamb of God” is the centerpiece (like our turkey is the center piece of Thanksgiving) of the Passover feast. We don't picture houses filled with family and friends gathered around a table. Alongside the lamb are ten side dishes that go great with lamb.
So when John said, “Look the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” what was this metaphor for him? And how does the gospel writer John mean for us to hear it? This of course is the same gospel writer who creates a narrative for communion for a great host of people who have gathered on a hillside and not a group of disciples gathering around the Passover table. This is the gospel writer was creating a description of table as a person - and this person nourished people with food and acceptance. This person called and included people who were most often ignored and excluded. This person spoke truth to power as his dying act.
It seems to me that this metaphor of the Lamb of God, as John is using it, calls us not to see a white fluffy lamb but a center piece to a meal that nourishes, sustains and changes us. I believe John the Baptist was telling them to follow a person who would change the world. One he was waiting for, looking for and had finally figured out the mystery of God's plan. Jesus was the central dish.
If is a gathering at this table like? What would this gathering embody? How would this gathering change us? What would we learn together if Jesus was the central figure of our gatherings?
If ever there was a time to gather in houses filled with people around tables filled with food, it's this time in our history. If ever there was a time where we would look to the person Jesus and say – he's the main course – it's this year. If ever we were to be like John the Baptist, giving up our followers so that they would feast on Jesus, it's now
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