LIGHT IS POWERFUL.
It guides our paths, brightens our spirits, and causes new life to grow. Hearing Jesus call his followers to “be light” is both humbling and invigorating. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we can each bring the light of hope to dark places, nurture creativity in difficult circumstances, and radiate contagious joy.
Bring hope. Nurture creativity. Radiate joy.
We have just traveled through the longest daylight hours in a day in the northern hemisphere; it still seems that our days have lost their illumination through the difficult pandemics of the Corona Virus and Systemic Racism. One is new to us all, thankfully the last worldwide pandemic occurring with the Spanish Flu a hundred years ago. But, the other “pandemic” of institutional racism has been embedded in our society since the first slaves were brought to these shores in 1619.
In the midst of these twin radical reckonings, we have a genuine opportunity for awakening and reconciliation. Our current socially distanced reality has brought into focus for me the need we have for each other, but in this moment, we can be an example of light of being a good neighbor through our care to wear masks and stay physically apart. We grieve this loss. We learn to cherish one another. The heart wrenching video of a police officer killing a black man, George Floyd, has shined a spotlight on the terrible injustices inflicted upon Black lives in America. People of all ages, races, ethnicities, socio-economic background have joined together to protest such systemic and pervasive abuses.
Will everything just go back to normal? I hope not, because normal wasn’t all that good to begin with. Jesus came to this world to vanquish normal. Jesus came to bring the Kingdom of God upon the earth! Jesus came and shined a light to all the nations and demonstrated, once and for all, God’s intention for how humans are to live in relationship with God and each other. Salvation means wholeness. Jesus is offering the light of salvation, the light of being made whole. The powerful reality is that we don’t have to wait till we die to experience this wholeness – we are called to live out this wholeness now. That means that we do the hard work now, especially in hard times, to be light.
For me, this means that I am called to be light by:
“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine!” (Matthew 5:14-16 – The Message)
I'm a follower of Christ, husband, father, friend, pastor, story teller, asker of questions, inspired by biblical narratives, social justice advocate, sports enthusiast, drinker of over priced coffee and general seeker of God's redemptive possibilities. Yeah, that about covers it. (If you discover something else, let me know!)