By Taylor Ermoian, a senior at Goshen College
Reprinted from Advent Devotions
Like John, we have all been sent by God. We have been dispatched to be a witness to light and to instill belief. Belief in self, belief in others, belief in God. What a magnificent journey!
In awe of John’s light, many inquired, “Who are you? Why are you here?” John simply stated, “I am a mere messenger. I bear witness to the light that we all await.” Still, the Pharisees persisted, “Then why do you baptize if you are not the one who redeems? If you are not the light?” John stated, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know. The one who shines and pierces far greater and deeper than I.”
Profoundly, when speaking to the Pharisees, John emphasizes how the one, who has not yet come, stands among you at this very moment. As if this light is within all of us. It is as though we had a jewel in our pockets that we never knew about.
So, what is light? What does it do?
Light radiates. Light produces heat. Light exposes. Light transforms. Light bears truth. Light energizes. Light reveals.
Advent is a time of waiting. Stillness. A time of the anticipation of a mystery yet to be revealed. But even in stillness, movement remains. Take for example a hummingbird. A hummingbird flaps its wings 50 times per second, in order to maintain stillness.
At this time when you see lights, allow yourself to see how God has transformed you. Allow yourself to be reminded of the paradox of stillness and movement. To bear witness to light, we must cling to the movement within our stillness. Let light radiate, warm, expose, transform, reveal and energize you! Bear witness to light!
But don’t forget to move.
SCRIPTURE: John 1:6-8, 19-28 (NRSV)
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 Testimony of John the Baptist
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.
Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, ‘Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?’ John answered them, ‘I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.’ This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.