Today I continue working through the Gospel of John through the practice of Lectio Divina. If you are following the meditation yourself, please leave a comment on your own meditation. I would love to hear from you!
Before you begin your mediation, please take a moment to pray for healing in the world we live in. At the time I am writing this, there have been two recent terrorist attacks on England: Manchester and London. My prayers go out to the families and communities affected in the face of these tragedies.
At the bottom, you will find my own thoughts from my meditation. You can take or leave them.
(Today’s translation comes from the ESV)
1st Reading (just read)
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor the will of the flesh nor the will of man, but of God.
2nd Reading (Meditate on what the text says)
3rd Reading (Pray for how the text calls us to action)
Contemplate (Set a timer for 5 minutes. Silently love God and His creation.)
This is where we begin to see John the Baptist appear. He came as a witness, much like Christians are still witnesses today, so that ALL MIGHT believe. Neither he, nor I, nor any other human is THE light. We can merely reflect it.
I love the phrase “so that all might believe”. It is much more comforting than if the passage said “so that all would believe”. As much as we are charged, as Christians, to spread the gospel, I’ve heard a lot of pain that comes from evangelism. The pressure of belief, if you can call it that, it not on you as a witness, but on the person listening.
A lot of time, these people feel pressured by churches or books to “get out there” to get as many conversions as possible.
To these I say: look at John the Baptist. He was literally born to tell people about Jesus. Not everyone believed him and that wasn’t even considered the goal. His goal was to tell his witness so that others might believe. Perhaps you’re an introvert, like me, or even an extrovert (you strange creature, you), but the best witnessing you can do is to those you know.
Notice: I don’t say those you meet. If you meet someone and the first thing out of your mouth is something akin to “Have you met Jesus?” you’re probably doing something wrong. It’s the people who know you (think second or third date revelations) who can see a difference between you and the world and the “evangelists” who go about yelling at people.
Then the passage takes us to Jesus, THE light. He came to his own people and they didn’t recognize the work he was doing, though God the Father had promised them a savior and messiah through prophets. If you want to see someone who ought to be the best evangelist, look to Jesus himself. While he converted people by the masses, he didn’t convert everyone. He came across religious teachers, government officials, and others who would not follow him.
If gaining an immediate 100% following were the point, even Jesus failed. Considering we know that his road led to the cross, that his execution was actually a victory, we know this was not the point. The point is the offering of light, of grace to the world. This grace is meant to continually change us as we become less children of the world and more children of God. Through our changed lives, we can seek to make the world a truly better place.
I personally have made it a mission to not evangelize, but to witness. I no longer shy away from faith in conversation, but I rarely bring it up out of the blue. And when the other doesn’t agree with me? I listen to their beliefs, their thoughts. I care for them, even if they don’t believe my God, my savior, my spirit. I pray that I can continue to have good relationships with people, both believers and nonbelievers. I pray that nonbelievers would become believers and that if they don’t, we can still live side-by-side.
Thank you for meditating with me! Whatever you feel motivated to do, wherever your meditation led you, I hope that you follow it. If you would like to support me, please check out my Patreon page. Anything you can give would be greatly appreciated and would really help!