Witnesses to The Light
He (John the Baptist) himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. (John 1:8-10)
Light has marvelous, life-giving qualities. As a seminary student in Wilmore, Kentucky I was delighted to be invited to explore a "secret" cave not far out of town. There were caverns that could only be accessed by crawling through tunnels. As long as light illuminated the way, my tendency toward claustrophobia was minimized. Of course, the first time in the cave I had to experience the initiation of darkness! "My flashlight battery went out."
"We will have to feel our way from here,” my “ex-buddy” exclaimed! How relieved I was to discover moments later that the enveloping total darkness was only momentary. The light relieved my near panic fears.
Advent is about anticipation and preparation. In a way, Advent is a confessional opportunity calling us to remind ourselves of the dark realities that surround us. 2020 has been a year of darkness on many levels. Fear and uncertainty regarding health, economy, survivability, ethnic equality and more grip our world in ways expressed graphically in our daily media. Hope has often given way to distress. Surrounded by darkness, it is the people of God who are called to bear witness to the Light that is promised in Isaiah and expressed again in Matthew 4:16: “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."
Christians have a unique calling to bear witness to the Light who is Christ Jesus. We don’t need to minimize the suffering, distress or fear that may grip our lives, rather we witness to the hope that is within us even in times of despair. I love the lights that shine during the Christmas season. They remind me of the True Light that has come and that has promised to never leave me. May we give witness to the Light this year through our smiles, our greetings, our encouragement and even inviting people to experience a drive through or virtual Christmas experience. We don’t need to convince people of anything, the Light will shine through to them. Just witness to the light!
Thank you, gracious God, for the Light that you have promised to bring and that has come in Christ Jesus. Empower us to point others to your love and light this season and all year around. Amen.
May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.