John 1:6-9

I lost a friend this year. Doyle died five months after his cancer diagnosis, shortly after his 69th birthday. Doyle had so much life and love left to give.

A few days after Doyle died, on my evening walk, the sun set to my left and the moon rose to my right—the most stunning moonrise I have seen. In the full, vivid, brilliant moon, Doyle looked back at me, beautiful and full of love. Purple and pink clouds swirled behind the moon’s luminescent surface.

As beautiful as it is, the moon is not the sun, and John the baptizer was not the light. In God’s story of salvation, John and Jesus were born into the same family, but did not have the same purpose. The Bible makes clear that John understood his purpose was primarily to point to Jesus. He accepted that he was not the divine light and embraced the privilege of reflecting it.

We have the same privilege, to reflect divine love. We waste much energy trying to be the source of love. We are not. We are, rather, love’s mirror, a privilege too precious to be wasted.

My friend Doyle desired two things in his life: to love God and to love people. One thing that made him such a beautiful person was that he understood he was not the source of love. He owned his humanity and pointed to Christ. He admitted his attempts to reflect love were imperfect and loved anyway.

In Advent, we proclaim that the Light is coming into the world. Since it is coming, we may as well own our quirks, frailties, imperfections and shine God’s light anyway. The point is not perfection. The point is reflection. And cracked mirrors reflect light beautifully.


Who has pointed you to Christ, reflected Christ’s love for you, served as love’s mirror? Is there someone to whom you can be love’s mirror?


God of light and life, shine on me today. I desire my life to reflect your everlasting love. Amen.

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