Today's Lectionary Text
John 1:6-8, 19-28There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.
It would not fall into place. Nothing was quite right. Dozens of examples came to mind, and none of them was it. I decided to go out for a quick walk to clear my head.
About two blocks along I noticed a woman walking toward me. As we neared, we each moved to the grass on “our” side of the sidewalk. As we passed, from an appropriate distance, she said, “How gorgeous is it?” Her tone was one of, “Isn’t this just amazing weather?” She was a witness; she had witnessed. That was it! I had a way to start!
Noun and verb. Witness can be used as either. The woman was a witness, a testifier. She witnessed to me about what a perfect day it was. Noun and verb. In today’s Scripture passage John is a witness. He witnesses to the Light that is coming. He testifies to how great that Light will be.
During these days of Advent, we wait once again. We wait for that Light to be present in the world. We wait with great expectation and hope. However, while we wait it seems we keep moving farther and farther away from the Light. Pandemic is running rampant. New stories of the ill-treatment of those who are different open the news every morning. Name-calling has not abated or improved. Defiance reigns. Give and take, discussion and compromise seem to be impossible. So, I cannot be a witness; there’s no Light in the world to witness to.
Wait! How about the way three small groups in a local church that worked to provide Christmas gifts for three families in need? A little bit of Light. How about the developmentally challenged young man who sacks my groceries, remembering I want paper rather than plastic, with a great smile and cheerful word. Some more Light.
What about the Salvation Army ringers, standing by their buckets even if it is cold, so that unhoused folk might have a bed, food to eat, or toys like other kids? Light for sure. Then there is the classroom teacher who listens carefully to each student describe his or her side of the incident before naming consequences, thus modeling calm, reasonable conflict resolution. Another beam of Light.
The Light grows. Illumination spreads. Let’s witness -- tell about all these ways that the Light is present. Let’s be witnesses today by engaging in activities that add to the Light and spread it out into the world.
Prayer for Reflection
Holy Light, Fill our waiting by pushing us out into the world today to witness to You, to the Light. Amen.
This Week's Lectionary
This Week's Liturgical Color