Friday, November 18, 2016

Are you shining your Light this Christmas?

Jesus said “You (and I) are the light of the world…”

(Matthew 5:14-16 ESV)
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Many years ago, I took my family camping to a place called “Twin Lakes” just outside Bridgeport, Ca. As many of you know, camping without the proper equipment can be uncomfortable, dirty, gritty, and chaotic. But most of us also know that all those encumbrances and how we respond to them (good or bad) creates a bonding with our family members that becomes deeply engrained in our family memories. One such memory includes the glow of the camp fire. I can remember my beautiful daughters and their mother (she’s beautiful too) all wrapped in blankets fending off the coolness of the night air. We talked in whispers, gazed at the black night pierced with bright shining specs of chrome-like light, and talked about how big and wonderful our creator is. All the while, I was consciously aware of the darkness just outside the glow of the subsiding campfire. Being a rookie at camping “lions, tigers and bears’ lurked just outside the perimeter of the glow. I was so grateful for the light.
Today, I am grateful for a different kind of light. It’s the light that Jesus brings into His world. A light that He shares with me that burns within me like the comforting glow of a campfire. Jesus declared in John 8:12, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life." This verse reminds me that in my professing to having seen His Light and embracing it, He has imparted to me that same light to shine for others who are experiencing the darkness and chaos of camping in this world. After all it’s only for approximately 70 years and then, or not, (depending on your belief) “in the world to come, He will be the lamp in the midst of New Jerusalem, a light to all nations, and "the nations will walk by its light" (Revelations 21:24).

--Pastor Mike Valdez

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