Point Towards Jesus
Point Towards Jesus
We are still in the Christmas season. Our gospel passage today is a retelling of the nativity from John’s gospel. A prominent figure in this version of the nativity is John the Baptist, who urges us to point towards Jesus.
Scripture: John 1: 1-18
This Advent and Christmas season have been all about beginnings. John the Baptist has shown up in our bible passages three times over Advent and Christmas. Our passage form John’s gospel this morning is another retelling of the nativity, though in John’s language it is told through poetry and images of what we believe about God and creation. In John’s gospel we don’t have angels, shepherds and a manager. Instead we have sweeping prose that lifts us up as it tells us of the origin of things, of Jesus place in the cosmos and the Living Word.
We are reminded that Jesus is the Word, Jesus is the Word that God spoke which brought forth creation. What through science we describe as the Big Bang, in religious language we describe as the Word. This Word was the light that pierced the darkness. It shines over all things, makes all things new and reveals God’s great love for all of creation.
Even John the Baptist’s inclusion in John’s gospel is poetic. John points towards the light which is Christ. Guides us on our way. Of course his inclusion in this way is often confusing. It paints the picture that John was much older than Jesus, when they were within a year of each other in age.
On John the Baptist’s role in this passage pastor James Howell writes, “John the Baptist, despite his evident fame and popularity, was forever deferring to Jesus. Karl Barth, rather famously, kept a print of the Matthias von Grünewald painting of the crucifixion in his office. John the Baptist, anachronistically, but theologically on target, is standing at the foot of the cross, pointing up at Jesus with a bony, crooked finger. Barth often said, “I want to be that finger.” Every preacher’s ambition is right there. The question is: can we trust ourselves simply to point to Jesus?” (James Howell)
That is the goal for all of us who claim to follow Christ, to point to him as John did. To take ourselves out of the equation and simply point to Jesus with the way we love and care for people. It’s an appropriate message for us to hear on the first Sunday of the year. We often talk about New Year’s resolutions and I don’t think this should be one, rather it should just be our state of being. To point towards Jesus, to let people know they are loved in a way beyond describing, cared for in a way beyond knowing.
We have received grace upon grace and as we move through this New Year, let’s share the fullness of that grace with others. Let’s point towards Jesus. Amen.
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Cobourg is part of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. The congregation was established in 1833 and continues to serve the community.
St. Andrew’s supports the gathering of community agencies, providing space for the Affordable Housing Committee. Rev. Ellis’ voice is key in advocating for improvements in awareness, empathy and action on key determinants such as housing, income and food security.
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