Richmond First United Methodist News and Events
January 25, 2014
A Star to Guide Us, John 1:29-42
Pastor Dan Damon, Richmond 1st UMC, 1-19-14
Re-tell baptismal story as told by John:
John said, ³Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
I baptize with water, but Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit.²
John saw the Spirit like a dove descending and resting on Jesus.
John said, ³This is the Son of God.²
Water and Mud: a mix of dirt and water, this is how life is lived, not clean
and clear, but murky like the Jordan river, life on life¹s terms, not our
A comment after the service last week: Mary Lee Cole said: ³There¹s a lot of
good stuff in that mud.²
Re-tell the call of the disciples
The next day (What about the 40 days in the wilderness?
That¹s how it goes in Matthew, Mark, and Luke)
John said, ³Behold the Lamb of God.²
(who takes away the sin of the world, 1:29)
Two of John¹s disciples followed Jesus.
He asked ³What do you seek?² What are you looking for?
They said, ³Rabbi, where do you live?²
Jesus said, ³Come and see.²
They went with Jesus and stayed with him that day for it was late.
Another of John¹s disciples, Andrew, heard Jesus and responded. He first
went and got his brother, Simon, and told him ³We have found the Messiah,
the Christ.² (Messiah, Hebrew; Christos, Greek; Anointed, English)
When Jesus saw him he said, ³You are Simon, son of John. You are
to be called Cephas (Peter, Rock).
This story shows the birth of the church. Simple folk heard Jesus and
followed him. It is the same today. Some hear and follow. Many do not hear,
but we can tell them with our words and with our loving actions. More will
come to Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Notice that Jesus¹ work is broad and deep: the sin (not sins) of the world,
not our ³petty peccadilloes² as Doug Adams used to say, but the deep
brokenness of the world, our sense of alienation from God, our separation
from each other, missing the mark, our thinking that what hurts one does not
hurt me. The systems of oppression that keep the poor down and lift the rich
even higher on the food chain, these are the things Jesus came to change
with his life, death, and resurrection.
Here is a lesson learned in my first parish:
In our brokenness may we find wholeness,
in our parting may we find peace,
in our leaving may we release
all the fear that bound us.
In our loneliness may we find stillness,
in our grieving may we find hope,
in rebuilding may we seek help;
in our sorrow teach us.
In our singleness may we find justice,
in our living may we find joy,
in our loving may we employ
all your wisdom gives us.
Dan Damon, October 23, 1990
WORDS and MUSIC © 1993 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188. All
We need hymns for divorce and singleness, hymns of hope and healing. I wrote
this for my friends, Linda and Kenny on 1990. We need hymns, prayers, and
sermons to help us in our brokenness, to help us find our way to a better
place again. We need friends and church communities who are willing to take
a chance on loving us, seeing us, as we are, and as we may become.
There¹s a lot of good stuff in that mud.
³Many things prevent knowledge including the obscurity of the subject and
the brevity of human life.” Protagoras, pre-Socratic Greek philosopher
But we do have a star to guide us, even Jesus, the Christ, the light of the
world. We have that light within our hearts to guide us. All of us are
learning as we go. None of us get through life unscathed. We can speak the
truth to God. We fall in the mud and get bogged down for a time, but by the
power of God within us, we get up, find some good things in that mud, and
move on in service to the world. So, as John Wesley put it, ³Let us do no
harm. Let us do all the good we can, in all the ways we can, for as long as
ever we can. And let us stay in love with God.²
Let us pray.
Our new website is up and running! Check it out at pointrichmondmethodist.org. To separate Point Richmond Methodist-all in small letters and run together. Many thanks to Mary Lee Cole and the hours of discussion, photo gathering and planning this has taken working with Susan Pomeroy the creator of the site.