Christmas is just one week away and I want to draw your attention to the significance of the Incarnation, the word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. The greatest rescue mission, if you will, the world has known. “The light of the world.”
In Sunday’s Gospel, God sends John as a witness to testify to the light. So, the question is, why does God send humans witnesses at all? Does He need our help? He has chosen weak vessels to display his great power to witness to the light and to push back the darkness. That is what He did with John the Baptist. God in the flesh, did not need help but He sent John. God in His wisdom has chosen this way. This has two implications for all of us. In a general sense, we are all sent by God. We are masters of our own destiny. We are not randomly here, we were sent from God. Secondly, God sends some of us for specific tasks. It may be like John the Baptist or the apostle Paul. It may be to a specific place in life like being a parent, business owner, employee, or a neighbor. He may call you into something you are not doing right now. God may someday come knocking on your door.
John came upon the scene at the right time and in the right place because he was sent from God. Do not discount the fact, that you and I are people, who are sent by God. Sometimes we recognize that fact; many times, we don’t. Not one of our lives are ordinary, not one of us are adrift and led by random circumstances.
If you think about it, God loves to promote the light through human beings. A witness is an individual with some knowledge and experience that can help establish the truthfulness of some fact that is in dispute. John’s experience came when God called him in the wilderness and then he encountered Jesus when he baptized him. His knowledge came when he reflected on the Old Testament and concluded that Jesus was the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He witnessed about the light by pointing people to the light. There is no confusion, John was not the light but came to give witness to the light. God sends us to witness to the light, it is in our spiritual DNA to do so.
John was described as a burning and shining lamp. He was burning with passion. Jesus was the object of his affections and was shining with the light of truth. The truth enlightened his mind and so gave satisfaction to the heart. That should be the desire for all of us. Our minds enlightened with the truth which acts like kindling to the embers of our hearts, which stoke the flame within us. God’s desire for all of us is that we be a burning and shining lamp.
Why does God want us to bear witness to the light? We find the answer to that question in the middle of verse seven of John’s gospel, chapter one, “That all might believe.” John came as a witness so that we would believe in the light, Jesus, and God sends each of us into our worlds so that others would believe. God has sent you as a witness to the light. This is a great time of the year to do so. It is probably one of the easiest times of the year to talk about Jesus, the light of the world.
So I say:
Live as Sent People
Live as Witnesses to the Light