There 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. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. (John 1:6-9)
Thursday 9 February 2017
We all have roles we play in life, whether consciously or unconsciously. I don’t mean big dreams of changing the world, or ‘making an impact’; for almost all of us our roles are far smaller than that (although usually far more real and satisfying as a result). We might want to be a good mother, husband, mechanic, accountant, academic, friend or anything that our circumstances and gifts have led us to.
In our reading St John refers to John the Baptist’s role as a witness to Jesus. A witness has two jobs. First he needs to experience something, to observe it and absorb it. Then he can relay what he has experienced to others. John had many roles in life (son, cousin, prophet, religious leader) but they were all given meaning and life by his position as witness.
This description also applies to Christians. We are witnesses to the light of God that is in Jesus. That doesn’t primarily mean giving talks to our friends or distributing tracts (although feel free to do that). Rather it means dwelling in the light of Christ, beholding him and allowing him to dwell in us. If we are doing that then God in turn can use our lives, our words and our actions to communicate light to others; by living in the light we become sources of light.
This means that our first priority in life (including work, home, netball or whatever) is to be in the light. Dwell in him daily, be filled with Christ through Scripture and prayer. Then our whole lives will so be filled with him, his life and peace, that whatever role we find ourselves living today we will be witnesses to the light that all might believe.
Here’s a prayer you could pray:
Lord, I want to learn to live in your Light. I want daily to be close to you, to receive from you, and to be changed by you. I long to be content in you, to see my mind and gifts used for good, and to see life flow from me to others. Change me, give me discipline, fill me with wisdom to know how I can do this in my circumstances.
In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.