Tag Archives: LIght

I Can See Clearly Now

Epiphany
January 18, 2017

Scripture Reading: Psalm 27:1, 4-9

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
   whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
   of whom shall I be afraid? –Psalm 27:1

We dealt with a lot of darkness in our lectionary readings so far, this week. There is a lot of darkness with which we must deal. The good news is that the light of Christ is always with us if we connect to it. An old 70’s era song runs through my mind which describes that moment in relationship with Christ when our hope in wholeness comes to fruition:

I can see clearly now, the rain has gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sun-shining day
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sun-shining day 

I think I can make it now, the pain has gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is that rainbow I’ve been praying for
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sun-shining day*

I know nothing of Johnny Nash’s life story, but he clearly had an encounter with hope at some point. We need to encounter hope in all that we do. We need to share the hope that is in and through Jesus Christ with all those we encounter.

Prayer: Let your light shine for us and through us in all our lives’ journeys. Amen.

From I Can See Clearly Now written by Johnny Nash see at http://lyrics.wikia.com/wiki/Johnny_Nash:I_Can_See_Clearly_Now

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized 
Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council 
of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights 
reserved.

Being a light to the Nations

lightChristmas
January 3, 2017

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 42:1-9

I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,
   I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
   a light to the nations,
to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
   from the prison those who sit in darkness. –Isaiah 42:6-7

Are we living in darkness? I use eye drops each morning. Keep them on the chest next to my bed. I can usually find the container in the dark though my feeling around sometimes results in my knocking it to the floor and even under the bed. In our world of electronic gadgets, we rarely experience total darkness. The light around my clock’s face sends out enough light that could guide me to my little eye drop container if I sat it in just the right spot. If I wake with a start in total darkness, it is the realization that the electricity is out. There is no battery backup in my old clock, no street lights without electricity either. Occasionally as I feel around for my eye drops, I wonder how well I would do if I had to deal with total blindness. I am so nearsighted without my glasses and have astigmatism I am well acquainted with seeing through a mirror, dimly*. I wonder if my lack of total darkness makes me more or less vulnerable?

Do we become overconfident in our routine perceptions? Do most people? What do I look at every day and never see? It seems Isaiah believes God thinks people do become overconfident as he calls us to be a light to the nations. If God’s light were abundant, such work would be unnecessary. We will not become a light unless we perceive the need for light and that perception must start with self-examination.

Prayer: Lord, help me take in what you want me to see that I am now missing. Help me understand why I need to see these pieces absent from my vision. Guide me to use my new insight to your glory. Amen.

*Derived from 1 Corinthians 13:12

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized 
Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council 
of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights 
reserved.

Finding Our Way

love45Eastertide
April 28, 2016

Scripture Reading: Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5

And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.

I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. – Revelation 21:10, 22-27

So what do we do in the meantime? The recorder of John’s Revelation sketches out for us the City of God, where there is no need for a temple because God is among us. The is no need for light sources for God is our light. Its gates are always open and all are welcomed and all that enter will be cleansed for good. We are given a glimpse of the end result. It always helps when planning a journey to know where we are going. This City of God is our destination. The question for us to consider with answers put into action is what do we do now and until we get there?

Some hints of our interim activities are given in this scripture. We, too, are called to be light to the world. (Matthew 5:14-16) ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. We too have been instructed to welcome the stranger (Matthew 25:35b) I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

We too have been told to forgive (Matthew 18:22) ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.

 Here are three good paths to follow on our journey to the City of God. Why then do we, who call ourselves Christians, invest so much time in doing the very opposite: casting shadows of hate, building walls of exclusion, and condemning others?

Prayer: Lord be our GPS to your way and your truth and strengthen our faith to follow your directions. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized 
Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council 
of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights 
reserved.

In Memory

Kayla MuellerEpiphany
Celebration of God
Manifested in the World
February 13, 2015

 Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:3-6

For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  — 2 Corinthians 4:5-6

 The use of the word “slave” conjures up visions of people being forced to work against their will toward the prosperity of another. Paul’s use of the word with the defining “your” expresses the voluntary nature of his servitude based on his burning desire to enrich others through spiritual prosperity. These others may not even know they have such a slave. Kayla Mueller, the young humanitarian aide who was recently killed by ISIS in Syria, was another voluntary slave in the quest for wholeness, oneness, and justice in our world. Her light truly shone out of darkness. Her death is a call for all of us to let our lights shine out of darkness.

Prayer: Let a moment of silence speak for lives that shined and a lifetime of  action speak for keeping the light aglow.  Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Kindle Your Light in Us

lightLiving in the Spirit
November 13, 2014

Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say, ‘There is peace and security’, then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness.— 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4

I do not feel too much like a child of light this morning. The world is too much with me. I guess it started when I flip on the local news yesterday evening and found a blow by blow description of a hostage take over by a former soldier at a local law office. It all ended peacefully without any physical injury, I am sure the jury is still out on emotional and mental ramifications. I don’t get why people like to watch that detailed reporting but it made me wonder, if we who live in the USA really realize that too much of the rest of the world live the reality of hostage taking and other such chaos several times a day every day. There are over 10.4 million people living as refugees in our world.* Yesterday the news celebrated the release of the only Ebola victim that remained in a hospital in the USA, making us Ebola free at least for a time. As of November 7, 2014, there were 13,241 cases in the three African nations most affected by Ebola with 4,950 deaths**.

Please understand our light needs to shine on every wounded warrior who has returned to the USA from war and every person in the USA who suffers from disease and we are not doing enough to address either. I guess my discontent comes from our motivations for addressing such issues. Our motivation has a whole lot more to do with self-protection and self-preservation than being a light.

In point of fact, our investing in the research necessary to bring about healing of bodies, minds, and souls is often a gift to the whole world as is the research of other countries. We might though be in need of an attitude adjustment opening our hearts to our neighbors around the world and sharing our light with generosity and love just as they share their lights from the darkest of places tending to the sick, the hungry, the homeless in the best way that they can.

Prayer: Kindle a flame of love
             Here in my heart, O Lord.
             Set all my soul ablaze
             With love and joy.
             Reaching to all in need,
             Pour out Your love through me.
            Kindle a life that burns for You.***Amen.

*http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c1d.html
**http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/case-counts.html
***Words by Ken Bible, inspired by a Celtic blessing Music by Ken Bible © 2005 by LNWhymns.com

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.