You Aren’t the Light: You Witness the Light

The light astonishes us this morning. The sun rises and shines on the bare tree, and it shimmers gold against the gloomy, storm painted sky. A picture can’t even capture the glow, but believe me, I witnessed it. I stopped and marveled. Later, I find other witnesses who saw what I saw and felt what I felt.

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We witnessed the light.

I remember how many mornings in the past half decade that I quoted the little verse in John 1:8 where the apostle writes about himself strangely in the 3rd person: “He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.” Something about being a witness to the light resonated so deeply with me as I blogged about ordinary days with my old camera in hand. I chased the light down every day and snapped pictures of what new thing it illuminated.

Today, once again, I remember how I don’t have to be the light. I don’t have to chase fame or prestige or the spotlight, and it’s such a relief. It’s so pure and simple to stand in this world as a witness to the light. It’s so pure and simple to witness and testify every day of my life about God. I am not the light; I am a witness to the light.

This is the same apostle who says about Jesus, “He must become greater; I must become less.” I think about the rhetoric that exalts the self at every turn, as if you only matter if you have impact and followers. But here, it’s as if John retreats into obscurity and simplicity, from attention and public clamoring, as he writes his witnessing account of Jesus. I love the mission of it all–to be a witness to light and not want to be the light yourself. It’s a good reminder and a freeing reality.

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