The Lamb of God
Jeff Smith, the Frugal Gourmet on PBS and also a Methodist minister, tells this story. He was driving one day in rural Washington state and stopped to allow a herd of sheep to cross the road. As he watched, the phrase "Lamb of God" drifted through his mind. Unable to contain himself, he jumped from the car and asked the shepherd, "What does 'Lamb of God' mean to you?"
Although probably startled to be greeted by such a query from a complete stranger, the shepherd answered without missing a beat.
"I know exactly what 'Lamb of God' means," he said. "Each year at lambing time, there are lambs and ewes who do not make it. Inevitably, on one side of the field is a ewe whose lamb has died. The ewe is filled with milk but will not nourish any lamb she does not recognize as her own. Just as inevitably, on the other side of the field is a lamb whose mother has died. That lamb will starve because no ewe will accept and feed it. Working quickly, the shepherd takes the dead lamb and skins it and places the still warm and bloody fleece of the dead lamb over the living lamb. Recognizing the scent of her own lamb now covering the stranger, the ewe will nurse and save the orphaned lamb. She adopts it as her own as if it had always been her own. Through the gift of the lamb who has died, the living lamb is recognized and restored to the fold, nourished, and saved. That is the 'Lamb of God'."
So it is with us.
God welcomes us into God's loving arms as the ewe welcomed her lamb who was dead but is now alive. Our former selves are no more; we are new creations in Christ, children of the living God.
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