Monday, December 19, 2005

Witness to the Light

My friend Flavia found such a lovely poetic translation of the Incarnation according to John's gospel that I thought I would post it here:
A man came, sent by God.
His name was John.
He came as a witness,
As a witness to speak for the light,
So that everyone might believe through him.
He was not the light
Only a witness to speak for the light.
The Word was the true light
That enlightens all men;
And he was coming into the world.

This is appropriate right now during Advent, while we keep a darkened vigil for the coming of the real Light. I love Advent, representing a special time of waiting for Jesus' birth. Since it is supposed to be dark, at one time weddings were prohibited during the season.

Last night, we lit the last Advent candle. It's interesting that the wreath has its roots in pre-Christian practices of Europe when people sought the return of the sun by lighting candles placed on a cartwheel decorated with evergreen. For them, as for Christians later, the circle was to represent eternal life.

This is a great time for us as parents to witness to our children. In that vein, my intention was to have meaningful discussions with them about darkness and light. And to play a little What If? game -- What if Jesus was never born, or came to earth? What if God never was? Where would we be right now?

Problem is we never get that far in the discussion -- by Sunday nights, they're too much in the thick of sibling discontent, though I have at least discovered a way to keep them from glaring at each other during the reading of Luke's gospel account -- I get one of them to read.

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