we are called to be light shining in the darkness

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The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:5

By nature, I am a positive, optimistic, glass-half-full person. I like people, I cultivate a sunny disposition, I count my blessings. I live – intentionally – in the understanding that it is our responsibility, my responsibility, to bring the light and the healing of God’s love to bear wherever and whenever. Our interactions with people, from long conversations over coffee to those few seconds at the cash-register, will impact others either positively or negatively – I believe it is our calling to always move them closer to the light.

This morning I have woken up to a world where the weight of what is negative, and painful, and troubling, and disheartening, and threatening seems in danger of reaching the tipping point.

I am deeply concerned for my friends in the Florida Panhandle as a Cat-4 hurricane bears down. I am genuinely worried for our nation. And I find myself wondering if people are astute enough students of history and culture to adequately cherish what we have here in these United States? Does the average American even begin to understand how unusual this level of freedom is and how easily we could lose it?

I know people who are struggling in their marriages, others suffering through loss, friends dealing with serious health issues, and those who have given themselves over to the darkness because they cannot bring themselves to believe and let Jesus walk with them.

Where’s the Light?

So what to do?

There are no magic pills, of course, but Rebekah reminded us Sunday morning (Click here for the message) that even a single lit match will defeat the darkness completely. Sometimes all we can do is to shine with integrity and if we do that then hope is introduced regardless of the weight, or the scope, or the depth of the dark.

all we can do is to shine with integrity and if we do that then hope is introduced regardless of the weight, or the scope, or the depth of the dark.

Then there are the grandchildren. They head off to school each morning as can’t-miss exhibits of light and love and hope and promise.

1-IMG_1244All I have to do is to look at this image and smile. And here is the truth:

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

The true light that gives light to everyone came into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. – John 1

Truth like that is something we absolutely have to live out loud – DEREK

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