Are You Ready To Be One of the People Who Light The World?

12.21.17 | Pulpit Posts

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


Rev. Robert Jacobs

Rev. Robert Jacobs


Stay current on activity at the Soup Kitchen, guest stories, thoughts from Clergy, news and events.

Subscribe to receive the latest news, events, volunteer opportunities, and more — right to your inbox.

Church of the Holy Apostles

We are an open, inclusive Christian Church celebrating in the Episcopal tradition.

Sunday Service is held 11AM (on site and via livestream). Weekday services are held on Zoom.


For Newcomers

Learn about our faith community and explore ways to connect with our work and worship.


Reflections on Holy Scripture from our Clergy.


Founded in 1844, with a focus on social activism and the desire for social justice.

Clergy, Staff & Vestry

The Vestry is the governing body of the Church of the Holy Apostles.


Music commands a strong presence at the Church of the Holy Apostles.

Space Rental

Host your next meeting or event in our landmark building.

Soup Kitchen & Pantry

Nourishing hungry New Yorkers since 1982 in an atmosphere of respect and hospitality.

Daily meal service

Serving a free, nutritious meal every weekday from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Meal outreach

Distributing bagged breakfasts and lunches throughout Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen.

About the soup kitchen

Learn more about our mission, our history, our performance, who we are, and what we do.

Pantry Program

Providing fresh and nutritious groceries to food-insecure New Yorkers.

Sunday Supper

Bridging generations and building community over a monthly family style meal.

Social Support

Meeting basic needs, stabilizing lives, and supporting individuals and families to achieve their goals.


Addressing the needs of the whole person through basic needs, counseling, and referrals.


Offering learning and skill-building opportunities.

Community Partnership

Partnering with others to expand the services offered to our guests.

Get Involved

Holy Apostles is a great place to channel your time, talents and generosity for good.


Make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and hunger.


Join our efforts to serve others and provide for people who are vulnerable.


Your gift provides food, community, and hope to New Yorkers in need.

The Latest

Stay up-to-date on all happenings at Holy Apostles.

Food For The Soul

The official blog of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.

Voices of Our Community

Guest stories, poetry, and more.


See our calendar of events.

Church Pulpit Posts

Read weekly meditations written by our clergy.


Holy Apostles in the news.