Advent Reflection #20, 2016


John 5:33-36
You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.
Light is a necessary thing. Without it, we would be stumbling around in the dark. When it is absent, we’ve invented synthetic light to brighten our world. Light makes things visible, it exposes, reveals, and allows for direction.
In this passage, Jesus describes his own life and activity and also John the Baptist’s as lights. In particular, he focuses in on his own works, saying that they testify on his behalf of his identity and mission.
I wonder, what do my works say about me? How about you? What do your works say about you? Do we shine light that is helpful to others and testifies to our belief in the true light, or do our works distract or even destroy? The Gospel is not a Gospel of works. Salvation is not the result of works, unless we might boast, but, good works are clearly a focus and a necessary byproduct of following Jesus. Good works should not be our focus, but they should be a part of the life of holiness, of a live lived in pursuit of, and obedience to, Jesus.
Today as you pray, consider your works, your public witness. Does your life shine light, or does it chase it away? Are you a mirror reflecting God’s goodness and holiness, or are you more of a curtain, absorbing God’s abundant light, but not letting it through, and certainly not reflecting it for others? Ask God how you can be more and more like a mirror, and less and less like a curtain. The beauty of God’s light is that it’s ever-abundant, there’s always more to share. Pray that God would grant you a life that shares God’s abundant light with others. Then, go and do it!

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