Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sunday Devotional: Children of Light

In the midst of a dark and fearful world, Christ's message is a light of hope for all of us. As Christians, we are called to be children of Christ's Light in our community.

Podcast version here

Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.

Recent events have displayed a lot of darkness and fear in the world, but it’s not any different from Paul’s time. The technology may be far more advanced, but the same anxiety that pervaded much of the ancient world is still with us today. No matter how far we travel or how much progress we make as a species, we are still fragile and frail, fearful and finite.

I see a society where a lot of people are struggling with who they are and what their purpose is in life. Some of them are broken by injustice; others are wrestling with relationships; and still others are fighting illnesses. All of us depend upon each other at times. We are not islands of isolation; we are all connected as human creatures who struggle with life’s problems.

This is where I believe that the Christian message, above all other faiths and spiritual traditions, has the most hope for people who are helpless and hopeless. Jesus Christ has come into our dark world to show us the light that leads to God. We are no longer left scrambling in the darkness trying to get through each day. He stands beside us, bidding us to follow Him, and asking us to trust Him. We are not alone on a planet that is swirling through space. We are placed on earth because God has a purpose for our lives and through Jesus we can effectively change the world that we live in.

Paul’s calls us to be “children of the light.” In his world, total darkness at nighttime was very common. People didn’t have electric switches, lights or power to use at night time. Lamps and candles were precious possessions and were not to be used frivolously. They were kept for emergencies and treated as essential items. When the Gospel was first being preached, people knew exactly what Paul was talking about when he called his people “children of the light.” Christians lit up the world with their love of one another, their compassion for the community, and their courage in the face of death. They had nothing to fear because the darkness could not overshadow them.

Let’s continue that ministry of Christ in our own lives and our own wee world. Let us all seek to be “children of light” to all that we meet today.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You truly are the Light of the world and we feel privileged to be Your servants. Empower us this day with hearts of love and compassion, so that we may reflect and express Your influence over our lives. May we become children of Your light to those around us. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Feedback Question: How can we be children of light to our communities?

John Stuart is the Scottish pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. He writes the daily devotional "Heaven's Highway."

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