Advent 2018 – Day Nineteen – Shine
Today’s song is Shine by Collective Soul.
Teach me how to speak,
Teach me how to share.
Teach me where to go,
Tell me will love be there?
This is such a wonderful image – it tells us that we all have the capacity to be lamps and to bear the light of the Good News.
If we are to do so we have to be witnesses and tell people where they can see, hear and know the light. We lead people into places where God is revealed we direct them to the Bible.
It is a challenge as a preacher to speak on bible passages which seem self explanatory. To try to find words which will draw the congregation into the meaning of the passage and to give them challenges which are relevant.
This passage perhaps reflects how biblical truths although often repeated do, when spoken of by different voices, find a place in our hearts and set us on fire with the gospel message.
If we are to shine as lights to the world around us we have to take these truths and use them as fuel so that we can burn brightly.
“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true.
“You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.
“I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
“I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
“But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”
Prayers and Reflection
Hymn: Singing the Faith – 174 – Light a candle in a darkened place.
“…a lamp that burned and gave light.”.
Let us pray together.
Think of the saying in order to understand context and meaning,
Feel the meaning of the saying with and in your heart,
Pray, using the saying, for yourself or others. With only a name and without explaining the reasons or pre-defining any answers.
Listen for God’s voice in the quiet of your prayers.
Pray using your own prayers or one of those which have been prepared below.
Lord, may I burn brightly with your love, spreading the light of your Good News whenever and wherever I am able to shine. Amen
Lord, may my words today speak of your love and open the hearts of those I speak to. May they know your presence this Advent season. As I listen to others, as they interpret your word, may I be filled to overflowing with a passion to pass on your Good News. Amen
In our Advent journey together we pray that we will welcome that light into our lives, that we may reflect your love to those to whom we speak today.
You are present in all of our conversations and we pray that you will give us opportunites to burn brightly with your passion that in the light you will be revealed.
We pray that we may feel you surrounding us, enfolding us in your powerful presence so that we like John so long ago can speak of your light which has come into the world. Amen.