January 19, 2020: Powerful Moments

Second Sunday after the Epiphany

Have you ever met a celebrity? Have you ever spotted a celebrity—a movie star, a TV star, a sports icon—on the street or in a restaurant? We can remember where we were, the circumstances, and who, of course, the celebrity was. Or we might have had a front row seat to an historic moment—witnessing something so powerful or unusual that it is seared into our memory.

For me, it was a trip to the baseball park to watch the Cleveland Indians. A fan made history and caught four foul balls in the stands during one major league game. The odds of this happening are close to astronomical.

John’s encounter with Jesus was what one might call a celebrity sighting, if not the witnessing of an historic moment. As John saw Jesus coming toward him, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” He realized that Jesus was special—God’s chosen and a part of God’s eternal plan.

We have never seen Jesus in person, but he has created powerful moments with our lives. This Lamb of God has taken away your sins and my sins because of his redemptive work.

I may never again witness a phenomenal feat such as someone catching four foul balls during a summer afternoon at the baseball park. Yet I do bear witness, like John, to what Christ does for each of us. As John said, “I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One!”


Joel Russell, pastor, Goshen Moravian Church, Durbin, North Dakota, and Bethel Moravian Church, Leonard, North Dakota