To Witness Like John

How bright is your contribution as the light of the world?

...for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the world. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true) and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.

   - Ephesians 5.8-10

He was a burning light, but he did not burn with his own light. He was the morning star, but he did not receive his light from himself. The grace of him, before whom he came, burned and shone through him. He was not the Light, but a participant in the Light. What gleamed in and through him was not his.

   - Eriugena, Homily on John 1.1-14, Irish, 9th century

Jesus described John as a burning light, but, as Eriugena explained, it was not his own light shining in him. Rather, it was the light of Christ and God, the glory and beauty of purity, goodness, and truth which John lived and proclaimed, and which was refracted through the unique personality of the Baptist.

So much did John participate in the light of Christ that that light could not help but shine through him. This is the essence of being a witness for Christ. So immersed in Him do we become, so careful in our obedience, constant and joyful in His presence, and filled with His Spirit and power, that He simply shows Himself through us in all we think, say, and do.

We walk in the light and the light refracts Himself through us to others. Effective witness-bearing begins in our quiet times of meditation and prayer with the Lord. If we do not learn there how to draw near to His glory and to bask in it, we will not be transformed to walk in that glory and in the light of Christ. We may learn a “presentation” of the Gospel, how to give our personal testimony, or even how to answer objections to the Gospel. But these “performances” will be shallow and lifeless when they come, unless they are illuminated and borne along by the light of Jesus Christ shining out from the very depths of our souls.

Seek to be a witness to your neighbor by investing more time, energy, and concentration in seeking Jesus in the quiet of His glorious light. Meet with Him. Warm in the light of His love, truth, and power. Glow with the brilliance of His Word and Spirit. Delight in His beauty, goodness, and truth.

Then go into your Personal Mission Field and be what you are – the light of the world. Sanctify Jesus as Lord and Light in your soul, and He will shine hope through you, hope that will pique others to want to warm in His glow and delight in His presence in you (1 Pet. 3.15).

Psalm 145.7-9 (Brother James’ Air: “The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll not Want”)
Then we shall all the glorious fame of Your great goodness sing –
Your righteousness, Your gracious Name, Your mercy: praise we bring!
Your steadfast love remains the same, mercy our covering.

Jesus, You say we are the light of the world. I am but a dim filament in that light. Warm me, glow through me, show Your delight in me, Lord, that others might come to Your Light as well.

T. M. Moore, Principal
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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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