2011 Advent Devotion- Sunday, December 18

Sunday, December 18                      
John 3:16-21

Reflecting on today’s passage, I am struck by 3:20-21. It’s pretty straightforward: people who do wrong—and know they are doing wrong—don’t want to be called out. Conversely, our scripture does not say that whoever does right wants their deeds brought to light but, rather, whoever does truth. What does it mean to do truth? Perhaps it is about fulfilling God’s call or being missional. Yet, how many times have we seen injustices and harmful doctrines justified by claims that it is “God’s will.” As we seek to do whatever truth to which we have been called, what is our touchstone to know that the truth we do is participating with God’s work in the world?

We see, in verse 21, that those who do truth willingly come to the light, so that they might see clearly that their deeds have been done in God. Whether our work is to end hunger and homelessness, advocate for economic justice, working toward racial reconciliation—whatever our call, may it be so for us. As we celebrate the coming of the light of the world, may we willingly hold our deeds done in truth up to that light so we might see more clearly whether the work we are doing is truly being done in God.

Oh God who loves the world, help us to present and see clearly our deeds in your light. Recommit our hearts and hands to your work of peace- and justice-making; that all might know your salvation through what we do and who we are. Amen.

Rev. Emily McGinley, director of the Common Ground Project at McCormick Theological Seminary
Chicago, Illinois

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