“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 true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.” John 1:6-9

Marveled at the moon lately? Quite often my family observes the moon and comments on its beauty as it shines across the still, glassy lake on our evening walks. We share songs about the moon with our three-year-old grandson, pointing out various sightings, even during the daylight. I prompt, “Isn’t the moon beautiful? It shines so brightly.” And sometimes that will do. But most often he responds with another question, “But why? Where does the light come from?” I reply, “Well, by itself, the moon isn’t bright at all. It is just a reflection of the sun.” As he quickly changes the subject I realize I have gone beyond the concrete thinking of a three-year-old. His understanding of the sun is much better related to his morning routine. Tempted to rise all too early, my grandson is reminded each night to stay in his bed until the sun comes up the next morning. And so, he waits, for the brightest, truest light he knows to shine through his window and flood his room with warmth and beauty as another day of questions begins!

The moon in all its beauty is but a reflection of the sun, and we should pay credit to the sun for its glory. What a contrast to see the beautiful, white light of the night moon and then to experience the incredible brightness and warmth of a sunny morning!

God sent John, who was not the light, to be a reflection and witness of the true light of Jesus who was coming into the world. How easily people could mistake John as the true light. He is described as a powerful proclaimer as he preached and baptized in the name of the Lord. But John was clear–his message was to prepare the way for Jesus:

“Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

Come again, Lord Jesus, flood our rooms and lives with your true light that we might live lives of love, radiant within and shining all around. For only then will we be reflections of your brightness and give glory to God in heaven.

Terri Vancil has enjoyed serving in Music and Worship at First Baptist for 18 years alongside her husband, Doug. She will ponder Advent with new eyes this year as she looks at the faces of her three grandchildren, Samuel (3), Emma Frances (2), and Selah (1 month).