Saturday, December 13, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

John 1:6-8, 19-23
A man came, sent by God. His name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness to the light, so that everyone might believe through him. He was not the light, he was to bear witness to the light. …  This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, ‘I am not the Messiah.’ And they asked him, ‘What then? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ Then they said to him, ‘Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?’ He said,
‘I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
“Make straight the way of the Lord,”
as the prophet Isaiah said.

Light in the wilderness

Voices cry out in the wilderness, our voices.

Monday, I open my email and hear a wilderness cry, “Is there any hope?” Will things ever get better, or will we see more police-connected deaths of African American men, more racial mistrust and conflict?

Last Sunday, I listened to someone whose family had suffered a terrible loss. As her grandchildren hurried down the hall for games during our Advent program, she shrugged, “I just don’t know what to do,” she said. 

“I think I know what you should do,” I answered. “You need to go down the hall and see your granddaughters smile. That will cure you.”

I was playing John the Baptist, sending her to where the light of God’s love would shine on her to lighten the load and let her feel alive again. That’s what the light of Christ does. 

Christ is the light to which this holy season points us. The light in him does not fade or fail. It is the light of God’s unfailing love and presence. That light has shined in all times and places and comes to full radiance in Christ. 

When it shines on … and in us, it ignites our inner being. It fills us. We are lit up from within and become the light that he is. In his light, we become light, radiant with a love beyond words, a joy beyond our fondest fantasies. 

Our souls grow light and our hearts grow large, making space in us to love and bless … and to give thanks for our lives. It is then that we know the light of Christ to which John points when he cried out in the wilderness.

We make the Lord’s way straight in the wilderness of our hearts by taking time to sit in the places where God’s love comes and lights you up from within. Go to the people and places where the light of Christ finds and fills you. 

In these days before Christmas, take time to sit by your candle, your tree in the nighttime … and know the light of Christ touching you. Open your heart and pray in the silence. Listen to the music that blesses you. Hold a child and imagine how Mary felt holding Jesus. Read the story of Jesus birth; let the words wash over you and feel its beauty.

Your heart will open like a flower. Joy will come to you. And hope will open your eyes to the Love and Light who comes again and again.

Make straight the way … for the One who is Light comes to you.

Pr. David L. Miller

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