Tag Archives: Light

Epiphany! Shine On Christmas Star, Shine On!

The Christmas Star on the top of my tree reminds me of the Light of the world who in human form pierced the darkness and relative quiet of a stable so long ago. The tiny Light grew and illuminated the hearts of those around Him except those who would not receive Him. Incredibly two thousand years ago there were those who preferred to walk in darkness just as there are in today’s world.

Just as the Star lit the way to Bethlehem for the wise men guiding them on their journey, so Jesus lights the way for our journeys. In His own words He tells us that “He is the Way, the Truth and the Life”. (John 14:6) He is The Light that “shines in the darkness and the darkness has not (nor will it ever) overcome it”.

Darkness comes in different forms. Illness, loss, depression, war, hardship, hunger and thirst are a few examples. Imagine being lost alone in the dark. Terrifying right? But there is no darkness we can name, or think of, or experience that cannot be illuminated by the One Light of God. Some translations say the darkness cannot understand this Light and happily the darkness can never put it out. (John 1:5) I am grateful not to have to live in such Light-less hopelessness.

Can you see it?

Often we can’t see God’s Light until we have the 20/20 vision afforded by hind sight and reflection. Then we may be able to see the “AH! There – The light was there all along” moments. There is a light that shines steadfastly in the deepest darkness, and there is hope and peace beyond all human expectation and understanding in believing in God. I cannot answer the question no one can answer, the big “why” question; rather I want to suggest that we don’t even have to ask that question. It just does not matter. There are things in this life we will never understand no matter how intelligent or resourceful we are; we just have to accept things on faith in God alone. Once we have believed and acknowledged our need for God, we can begin to find the “peace that passes understanding” even in the hardest trial. And learn the lessons – because “pain is never pointless”.

If we have faith in God, then we also have the Light for this life to help us with whatever darkness we encounter. Whatever form darkness takes in our lives, we may be assured that the Light of Christ will penetrate it bringing grace and showing the way through. Will it be an unmistakable shaft of Light? Or a pin prick sized spot that grows slowly until all is illuminated? Yes to both. Sometimes we are graced with “Ah-ha! Moments” when all seems as clear as that shaft of Light. Other times the darkness is penetrated by a smaller Light, but a Light that grows and steadily warms the heart, clears the vision and points out the path.

I am often reminded of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs as I reflect on Scripture. Today I am reminded of two very different songs, from two distinctive genres. The first is an old hymn text written by John Henry Sammis with music by Daniel Brink Towner in 1887.

Lyrics:

-1919

When we walk with the Lord In the light of His Word, What a glory He sheds on our way; While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, For there’s no other way To be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey.

The full lyrics may be found at this link: https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/582

And the other piece was recorded by country music artist Emmylou Harris, with harmonic vocals provided by Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt. It was recorded by Warner Brothers in 1979 but has been re-recorded several times by other artists.

Listen to the full piece here: http://www.metrolyrics.com/beautiful-star-of-bethlehem-lyrics-emmylou-harris.html

Oh, beautiful star of Bethlehem Shining afar through shadows dim

Giving the light for those who long have gone

Guiding the wise men on their way Unto the place where Jesus lay

Oh, beautiful star of Bethlehem, shine on

May the Light that brings life grow in your heart today, illuminating new corners of your life with the One True Light. The Light came into the world – to its very own people – but they did not receive it. But to those that did (and those that will today and tomorrow) the Light became the Light of the world. John 1:1-18.

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The Light Shines On!

She volunteers in her local soup kitchen serving food with a smile and a gracious word.  They look forward to seeing her there because her presence has become an encouragement.  They can see bright Light shining through her.

He helps construct a house that will be someone’s home, teaching the younger man working with him with patience and kindness.   The younger man does his very best to do things well and looks forward to going to work every day just so he can see that bright Light again.

She works hard to meet her deadlines so her co workers can meet theirs. She works cheerfully and well, often solving problems before anyone else finds out about them. The others love to work with her because she inspires them to do their best work too…and because they can see the bright Light that shines through her.

He works long days and into the evening preparing the soil for growth.  He smiles as he waters and nurtures the tender young plants coming from the earth bringing new life.  He is a wise source of inspiration to those who work along side because there is this bright Light that is always on…

She spends more time than is expected of her to see that every detail is in order and that all is ready for every committment. Her gracious attention to detail ensures a smooth and pleasant experience even when the unexpected comes.  There is alway a Plan B or C ready to be implemented.  There are many happy apreciative people who see clearly that the bright Light is ON!

Where did the Light come from?

…from a tiny baby boy born in a dark place 2000 years ago.  His Light still shines.  Through you, through me.

When you give water to the thirsty, food to the hungry, give your extra clothes to the poor, when you care for the sick, visit those in prison, or show hospitality to the stranger.   (Matt 25: 35-36) Maybe we can’t all do all these things, but what we can do allows the Light to shine on.

How do you capture this Light? You just  have to recieve it…it’s free…no strings attached…Believe.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.  John 3:16

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

Welcome the Child and His love this year as never before.  Shine On!

 

 

 

Slow Down! Let His Light Shine!

The Apostle Paul in  2 Corinthians said something like:  The light of the glory of God shines from the faces of those who turn to God. (those who repent). They can’t help it.  The glow is a result of the relationship – the close relationship between God and His beloved.

When Christians see other Christians neither has to veil their faces – for neither is blinded by the Light, yet each  recognizes what the Light means in the other.  It means there is a personal relationship with the Creator God through His Son, Jesus the Christ.   It should be clear Whose we are.

But we live in a world that turns away from and even violently rejects the Light.  We live in a fallen world – at least for now – that provides distraction after distraction with so little effort it seems.  Some of our distractions are good things, things we should be concerned about.  But it is possible to become TOO busy.  So busy that we don’t notice the things we should.

Our lives are FULL of things to do, places to go, things to plan, people to care for, lists to make and then carry out….it just keeps going!  And it’s about to get much worse – if we let it.  We can be so tied to schedules and our own lists that we might not notice what is there for us to see – the life that needs God’s glory to shine on them. From you.  Could be that homeless lady at the food pantry, or the child looking up at you in the grocery store.  Could be the driver of a vehicle close to you in snarled traffic.  Could be that loved one…but will you notice? …  Will I?  Have we left no time to listen to the voices of those who need us?  Will we just rush right on past an opportunity to be a blessing? or to receive one?  Are we looking for those who need the Light to shine on them?

Maybe we need a fresh dose of His Light in our own lives, perhaps we are blinded by distraction.

Dear Heavenly Father,

As we approach the most wonderful time of the year when our hearts need to be stirred to remember the Greatest Gift ever given we confess that we are too busy.  We need Your Grace to fill us and overflow from us onto all the people you place in our lives.  We need to stop and listen for Your Word that speaks softly so that we may find that comfort and JOY choirs will soon sing about.  We need Your guidance to know when to say the little word “no” to over committment so that we can make room for You in our celebrations.

If the WORD lives in your heart, it will shine out through your eyes

be in the words you speak, the thoughts you think,

and the actions you take.