Hearing the Voice, Seeing the Light

[Jason Bandura works with the Glen Elm Church of Christ and hopes to increase the attention he gives to Advent in this, his second year of observing the season.  Anything that rescues meaning from the madness of Christmas for him and his family–wife Shannon and two sweet daughters–has his attention!]

“Taste them again for the first time.”

With that sentence, the makers of Corn Flakes hope to pull us back, over and over through the generations, to the same timeless cereal that Adam and Eve must have surely eaten.

In an effort to read-again-as-if-for-the-first-time today’s passage in John 1, I left behind my “standard Bible” for a new one I’ve been leafing through.  Check this unfamiliar translation of John 1:6-9, from a version called The Voice:

6 A man named John, who was sent by God, was the first to clearly articulate the source of this unquenchable Light.  7 This wanderer, John who ritually cleansed, put in plain words the elusive mystery of the Divine Light that all might believe through him.  Because John spoke with power, many believed in the Light.  Others wondered whether he might be the Light, 8 but John was not the Light.  He merely pointed to the Light, and in doing so, he invited the entire creation to hear the Voice.  9 The true Light, who shines upon the heart of everyone, was coming into the cosmos.

The Story In OUR Lives

Of course, verse 9 quickly presses us into the “nativity story”, into considering Christ’s incomparable incarnation and how that startling story unfolded in the lives of Mary and Joseph.  However, the earlier verses should inspire us with images of how this story might more fully unfold in OUR lives.  How might it look and feel to more fully engage in the reality of God, in essence, increasing His incarnate presence within our own lives as well?  Surely, this is largely the aim of Advent.

In baptizer-John, we see a life lived simultaneously humbly and powerfully.  He had no illusions about “being the Light”, but he intently followed God’s call to embody and articulate all he could about this Light.  Jordan-baptizing and locusts-and-honey aside, John’s call is little different from God’s call upon all of His children, including the writer and reader of this brief reflection.

This Advent season, dedicate yourself, as did John, to hearing the Voice and seeing the Light.  As you do, the creation around you will be invited to join.

Imagine the shock to people who thought that Advent was just about them!

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