Saturday, December 15, 2012

Where Is the Light?

"Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn."
Isaiah 60:1-3

In a time of confusion & mourning, we may feel that evil is winning & the darkness is too much. Let's remember what this prophesy means to us- it's why we celebrate this season- the Light HAS come! Darkness has been defeated. But... It is our job as believers, Christ followers, to listen to the the words of Christ in the sermon on the mount as he tells us WE are the light of the world & we should not hide what we have. We MUST carry the light of love & grace into the darkness. We MUST shine a light on evil & drive it out. We must never allow our insecurities to prevent us from speaking the truth & sharing Christ's love.

I keep seeing sound-bite sized answers to a situation that is incomprehensible. I get wound up when I see posts about God not being allowed in schools & tend to get on a soapbox so I try to hold my tongue. Having said that, I need to say this- God cannot be bound by any man made obstacle. As believers who have given their lives to God and are filled with the Holy Spirit, we carry God with us wherever we go. There can be no compartmentalization that only allows Him to be present in "appropriate" settings. If we are failing to teach this in our churches and households, we are failing to teach the complete Gospel. We ARE the light of the world. Jesus himself told us so. We are to carry that light in all settings and all situations.

I know that there is prayer in schools because every day as I drop off my wife, Lisa, & niece, Sarah, I say a prayer for them and all the other students in teachers in that school. I see countless Godly teachers & administrators who, I know, pray for their students daily. God is most certainly present in that school & in the lives of many of its students & faculty.

Toe-stepping time (mine included): I have come to believe that many of the social ills we face are a direct result of Christians deciding it would be easier to let others do the work we are called to do. We have been complicit in the expansion of government into the care of those in need, our senior citizens, and many other areas that the church should be taking the lead. We have eased our guilt by trying to legislate morality-while not not effectively modeling it or communicating WHY following God yields preferable results and doing things like adding, "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance & thinking we've done our duty. We have become a people who are quick to grab hold of the rewards of grace for ourselves while neglecting to "go and tell" or care for the widows and orphans as we are called to do.

The decision to follow Christ is a personal one. Once we have been "born again" we cannot continue to keep one foot planted firmly in the world. We have become a new creation that WILL reflect God's glory. Each of us is an integral part of the body of Christ and until all of us are fulfilling our roles the Gospel cannot be spread effectively.

During this season as we celebrate the arrival of the "Light" into a world shrouded in darkness, let's remember that no matter how dark things seem, evil can be- no, not can be, has been- overcome. Let's be the light of the world and carry that light into the darkest corners. Let's show the power of love and grace through the lives we live and the compassion we show.

Father God, we pray that Your mercy and grace will be revealed fully to all of those so deeply affected by the tragedy in Connecticut. We pray that each of us will open our hearts and be used by you to carry the light into the world around us. Don't let any of be content to let someone else carry the light or spread Your Word. Use us for Your glory! Amen