The past two Sundays of Advent have featured John the Baptist in the Gospel readings within the Roman Catholic Church’s liturgical year. John the Baptist was a prophet who not only called out to get the attention of the people, but he had full knowledge of his ‘place’ in God’s plan. He was a prophet meant to prepare the way for Christ and as such he willingly stepped back once Christ was ready to begin his ministry.
Something that he also did was to shine a light in the darkness, basically testifying to the Light.
Last Sunday, our pastor hit on this theme and invited us to consider how we might testify to the Light today. What follows is a bit of his homily along with my own reflections.
How can we testify to the Light?
First off, we can make sure that we are who we claim we are. Integrity is paramount if we want others to hear and act upon the testimony we give. In this day of prolific ‘lives’ on the internet, it is so easy to create a public persona which is not only separate but completely different from our private persona.
I am sure that I fall victim to this allure of painting the image I want others to see when interacting through venues such as this blog, Facebook, and online forums. Honestly, how many of us want to air our ‘dirty laundry’ in public for fear of what others might think of us. This is something I am praying over and considering how I can continue to share my reality through this blog.
Secondly, we can be a joy-filled people. John the Baptist was an inwardly joy-filled individual and it showed to those around him. That truly joy-filled life is not found in a pill or our social lives. Instead, it comes from doing what God created us to do. How awesome to know that God knew us before we were even formed in our mother’s womb! He knows us intimately and that includes knowing where our talents lie.
I know that the times when I tried to force what I thought was a calling which really wasn’t, I experienced not only failure but lacked any joy in the pursuit. But, when I have headed the call of the Holy Spirit, I am filled with a peace and find joy amid turmoil around me. That’s not to say that when the going gets tough I do not long for a way to find an easy fix. Instead, I try to pray and seek joy and peace in the only place it can be found.
Finally, through our actions we can make a difference in people’s lives. We do not have the power to change a person, but we can inspire and give them the tools to make changes.
When I write a post here sharing about a product we’ve used, I do so with an eye on providing information others can use to make more informed decisions. It might not make a huge difference in someone’s lives, but it might still have an impact either in their homeschool or even helping better utilize their family budget. I know that we’ve personally benefited from product reviews in either money saved by not purchasing something that would have ‘flopped’ in the house or by purchasing something (e.g. All About Spelling) which had an extremely positive impact in our house.
Personal stories and anecdotes can also influence others. Or, just living our lives the way God intended can serve as testimony to our beliefs and encourage others to grow closer to God.
How are YOU testifying to the Light in your life?
This post is being linked up to this week’s 40 Days of Seeking Him meme. I hope you will come back to share more during this season of Advent.