Psalm 98:1 – 6; First John 2:29, 3:6; John1: 29 - 34
The Psalm calls us to rejoice, to celebrate God with trumpets and music and songs for He has announced the coming of the Messiah, the coming of salvation. Surely this is a precursor of the Annunciation and Birth of Jesus. Now, we have passed through Advent and actually celebrated the miracle and mystery of the birth of the Messiah and we have rejoiced. May our celebration contine.
But – John’s letter forcefully makes us face the reality that sin deprives us of Jesus; of God; of eternal peace and joy and we know we are sinners. Perhaps John’s message focuses us on a reality that hurts; that maybe frightens; that maybe makes us want to give up.
Then - John’s Gospel brings us back to renewed faith and hope and joy. Through him we hear John the Baptist proclaim that Jesus has come and that Jesus is “… the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. … He is the Son of God.”
These readings call us and help us to imagine the joy our Jewish ancestors must have felt when urged to sing and celebrate the coming of the Messiah; they call us to confront the reality of sin and the consequences of walking away from eternal salvation; and, they renew the beautiful and mysterious promise that we can have deliverance from sin and eternal salvation in our savior Jesus.
You have come, You have come Immanuel!