No matter how hectic the season, no matter what the year had been like, when “Silent Night” began to play, when the lights in the room dimmed and people shared the lighting of candles, I was grateful for that sacred sense of “God with us.” Perhaps you appreciate that moment on Christmas eve as much as I do. I think it is fair to say I need that moment every year when the body of Christ stands together in the middle of the darkness, lifting the light for all to see.
Darkness seems to be so present in so many ways.
The Vision for the Annual Conference calls us to Love like Jesus. My understanding of that phrase begins in the holy moment of candlelight on Christmas eve. Let me share a few Bible verses to convey what I mean:
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.
The Challenging Questions
- What shapes your understanding of what it means to Love like Jesus?
- How are you light in the darkness?
- How are you light even in the most challenging of situations?
- Are there times you contribute to the darkness? What do you need to do to turn that around?
The Good New
When the way gets difficult and you feel as if there is no light to be found, go back and read the stories that surround the Bible verses listed above. Study the context of each passage. When you do that I am confident that what you will discover is that God has given you the power to be God’s light in the world. It is not something you have to do on your own. Ask for God’s grace. Ask for God’s help. God will give it to you.
As you gather in sanctuaries and around tables this Christmas, may you discover anew the power of God’s holy light. May it flood your soul and empower your walk of faith. May it bring hope and healing, not only to you but also to those you encounter every day. My friends, the light has come into the world and the darkness cannot overcome it. Let the light shine!