Reflecting the Light

via Flickr user Amanda Slater
via Flickr user Amanda Slater

We are waiting for our Savior. We are waiting for the light.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. –John 1:6-8

Our world needs a little light right now, and it is easy to make the mistake of feeling like we have to produce that light. We look out to see poverty, Ebola, torture, Ferguson, and Gaza, and get overwhelmed and burned out trying to create light. But we can fire ourselves from that unachievable job. God is the light, God can bring light out of darkness. We don’t need to create the light, but we do need to recognize it and multiply it by reflecting it out into the world, into the dark corners of our hearts and our lives.

We are not the light, but are called to bear witness to the light. So this Advent I’m asking myself, “How, in the quiet waiting of Advent, can I prepare myself to reflect the light?” What does active waiting look like?

My newborn is especially attracted to light right now. He stares at the contrast of window blinds and stares contentedly toward any light that is on. He himself emits light through his innocent goodness. I get lost in the deep well of beautiful light coming from his eyes. I watch him be a witness to the light and reflect that light effortlessly every day. How can I do the same light reflection and sharing as naturally as he does?

This year my spouse and I bought a solar lamp, which is supposed to help combat seasonal depression in the dark, dreary winter season. I sit in front of the light box for about 30 minutes every morning while I sip coffee and start my work. I love my light therapy. I look forward to getting out of bed, knowing that coffee and light await me. This Advent, I have taken that time in the morning to pray in front of the light and intentionally feel my body soaking in the rays. I imagine the light welling up inside of me so that I can glow for the rest of the day and share that light with others. When the time is up and I switch the light off, I feel energized and at peace. I’m warm, open, and looking for light in the rest of my day. It is a small spiritual exercise, but it is making a change in my heart.

For me, I’m taking the charge to bear witness to the light this Advent quite literally. I seek out light daily in hopes of being more warm, open and ready to receive and reflect that light that is Christ. How are you preparing to bear witness to the light?

Published by Ellie Roscher

Ellie Roscher is the author of How Coffee Saved My Life, and Other Stories of Stumbling to Grace. She holds a master’s degree in Theology/Urban Ministry from Luther Seminary and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College.

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