Special Enough to Introduce to the Family


John 1:35-41 (NRSV)

The next day John again was standing with two of his  disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, "Look, here is the Lamb of God!" The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher), "where are you staying?" He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon. One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated Anointed).

Special Enough to Introduce to the Family

When I was a kid, I was always bringing home animals. I'd find a stray cat or dog, sometimes it would have a collar on but I'd pretend it didn't, or sometimes it was a rabbit or a frog or a turtle, and I'd bring it home. My parents often got to know our neighbors through the act of a returning an animal that I'd found. As an adult, I have seven cats, all rescued from the streets (and one from a shelter). I suppose I'm trying to fill a hole with these animals, with their love, with their affection. We're all looking for something to fill the empty space inside us.

Maybe that's why I identify with Andrew in this. I've made up a completely unscriptural backstory for him. I think of him as kind of a shiftless hippie, looking to fill the hole inside him the way a lot of people do—religion. I imagine he wanders from cult to cult, messiah to messiah. One week it's Marvin the Messiah, the next it's Karl. Never settling down on one.

Until one week, he meets up with John the Baptist, a new and very popular messiah figure. There's a twist, though. John doesn't claim to be the Messiah. So there's a mystery, too! How exciting! And then, John solves the mystery. John acts like the flashing sign on the highway he's supposed to be and points to Jesus as the Messiah. Andrew meets Jesus, and this Messiah is special enough to introduce to the family.

This world is full of empty, longing people. Many of them don't even know how bad things are.  Some of them might wander into our lives. Maybe at work, maybe at school, or they might even wander into our churches on a Sunday morning. When they do, what, exactly, will we be pointing toward to fill them?


Gracious and loving God, we approach a new day with the hope and promise of being the light that guides people to you. Give us the strength, the joy, and, most importantly, the love to point you out to a hungry world. Amen.

Joshua Williams is the pastor of Birds and Pinkstaff United Methodist churches in the Kaskaskia River District.