In our gospel today (Jn 1), John the Baptist recognizes Jesus as he walks to the river Jordan and says ‘Behold the lamb- the lamb who takes upon himself the sin of the world’. Not only is Christ the lion of Judah, the one who courageously speaks the word of truth to the adversaries in the desert and to the oppressive powers of the world, Christ is also the sacrificial lamb. For the lamb of God is inwardly strong enough to take upon himself all of the pain, suffering and injustice of this world and endure it, carry it- ultimately sacrificing himself like a lamb through it in order to create a new future for mankind.
Within every human spirit lives the Christ, both lion and lamb. The Christ lion in us is courageous- always ready to speak truth to power, always ready to call out injustice when it is right. But the Christ lamb in us is inwardly strong- patiently ready to endure the pain of what oppresses us, letting go of the impulse for vengeance, renouncing violence and power for love. With the Christ coming alive in our soul, both lion and lamb come together in us.
In our dark times, even with the recent violent tragedy in Dallas, even with the oppression of systemic racism and prejudice that effects so many, even with all of the terrorism taking place today in the name of a false God, even with a culture of fear and hate that is propagated by media and politicians, even with all of the untruths and sufferings that exist in our world, we are all called to cultivate light in this darkness.
For if the Christ is to shine in our hearts, we must always remember that the darkness is meant to be there. Our task is not to vanquish evil for in this world there will always be oppression and pain. Our task is that in the face of this darkness, the human heart shines with the light of Christ. May he shine in us with the lambs capacity to endure sacrifice, to endure the unjustified pain in our lives without resorting to violence. And may He shine in us with the lions courage to speak truth- truth to all the oppressive powers that be.
This contemplation by Rev. Evans was inspired by John the Baptist and recent events.