Today's Lectionary Text
In the beginning was the Word
A man named John was sent from God. He came as a witness to testify concerning the light, so that through him everyone would believe in the light. He himself wasn’t the light, but his mission was to testify concerning the light.
The true light that shines on all people
John testified about him, crying out, “This is the one of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is greater than me because he existed before me.’”
From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace;
Standing on the edge of Advent always gives me a bit of a rush – in more ways than one. For 20 years as an actively serving pastor Advent brought additional responsibilities to the normal routines of worship planning. There were never enough hours in the week to do all that I wanted (or felt I needed) to do. In retirement, things are a little less hectic – and yet, I still find myself running down a list of things that need to be done before Christmas. I’m sure that is the same for most people who observe Advent and Christmas, whether you are clergy or laity. I know that it was much the same for me throughout my life before I entered professional ministry.
Something else that has been true for me on either side of the pulpit is that marking Advent with a daily time of focused reflection often seems to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the holiday preparation. This year my goal is to read and reflect upon the Prologue to John’s Gospel every day during Advent. These verses (John 1:1-18) never cease to remind me of the amazing gift from God that we have in Christ Jesus. But verse 18 catches my attention most in the segment quoted above. “No one has ever seen God. God the only Son, who is at the Father’s side has made God known.”
Among the various reasons we can name for the coming of the Son, making God known to humankind is among the most riveting to me. In Jesus we see love and compassion poured over the lost, the lonely, and the hurting. God has shown us, through Jesus, how to treat every human being and, in doing so, has also shown us what God looks like – and how we can show God to the world.
As I stand on the edge of Advent today this is the challenge I face and am praying I will fulfill. I invite you also to find your own challenge this Advent season that reminds you of others who may see God in you.
-Rev. Robbie Fall, retired Elder
Prayer for Reflection
Redeeming God, open my heart and my mind to see you and reflect you in my daily life this Advent season. Keep us mindful that you sent the one we await during Advent to show yourself to us and that we only need to follow his perfect example to show you to a world that needs you so much. Amen.
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