Happy Anniversary-NOT! – Letters in Red

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This week marks an anniversary that most of us would like to forget, but that we will remember for the rest of our lives! It was this time last year when our government began responding to the threat of the coronavirus, COVID-19. In the first weeks, and then months, of uncertainty and confusion, many of the freedoms and comforts we enjoy as citizens of the United States became unavailable. (And I’m not just talking about toilet paper!) It has been a dark and frightening time in so many ways. Where do we find hope? Is the light at the end of the tunnel? If you are a follower of Jesus, you know that he is the light.

This past weekend, Lead Pastor of the Tabernacle, Dr. Calvin Sweeney, gave us a great illustration to help us understand two verses about light that might be confusing. In the first verse, Jesus says, “I am the light” (John 8:12). But in the second, Jesus tells us, “you are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). Calvin explained Jesus is the greater light; we are the lesser lights. Jesus is like the Sun; we are like the moon. We don’t have the ability to create our own light, but we can reflect the light of Jesus, just as the Moon reflects the radiance of the Sun.

I love the idea that I can be a reflection of Jesus’ light and love to a world looking for hope! When I rest in his truth and grace, I can shine his light in dark places where people sometimes find themselves. In bringing hope to these dark places, I have opportunities to share the reason for the hope that I have.

1 Peter 3:15
Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks you about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.

My job is to make sure the light I shine is in focus, not made fuzzy by the distractions of this world. How do I do that? By maintaining a daily, vibrant, joy-filled relationship with Jesus, my Lord and Savior, through worship, Bible study, prayer, and community with other Christ followers!

Calvin reminded us that there is only one event that prevents the Moon from reflecting the light of the Sun—a solar eclipse—when Earth gets between the Sun and Moon.  By maintaining my relationship with Jesus, things that could dim or diffuse my reflection of his light are much less tempting. His light is not eclipsed by the things of this world! It shines for all the world to see!

Matthew 5:16 NIV
“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

Where can you reflect the light of Jesus in your life to the world around you? How do you maintain and grow your relationship with your light source, Jesus Christ? Is there someone who needs to hear about the hope that you have in Jesus?

Next Steps:
If you know Jesus as Lord, he will be your light in this dark world. Find someone who has suffered in this pandemic, and be a light to them! Give them your hope and your light to help them out of their darkness. Invite them to come to church with you for an Easter service!

Listen to “Shine, Jesus Shine” by Graham Kendrick on YouTube!

Heavenly Father, thank you for lighting our way. It is never too dark for your light to shine on us, to guide us, and lead us into all the blessings you have for us. We ask that you use us to light up the lives of the people around us. Help us to be  beacons of hope and people who point others to you. You are our hope and our light in a world that needs you now more than ever! Let our good deeds, done in your name, bring glory to you! In the bright and beautiful name of your son, Jesus, we pray, amen.

This post was written by Lauri White. Lauri is one of the 25 people that God used to start CedarCreek in the Fall of 1995, and was on staff until 2013. Lauri loves Jesus, and loves helping people, especially women, live out of the truth about who we are in Christ. She and her husband Mike live in Oregon, but now spend winter months in Florida near daughter Kelda and her family.

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