I pray this message finds you safe and healthy. I can't believe it is now May. I know that this spring season is looking really different for all of us, but I am hoping that you all are finding ways to embrace the change. I've enjoyed seeing photos of our Messiah family through the virtual hugs messages. I truly miss seeing the teens in person for our YOM meetings and getting to joke and laugh and talk with them.I hope that these lessons are helping everyone to stay connected spiritually.
Father Keith has sent out an invitation for us to reflect on this unusual time to see if we have truly learned something from the experience. It's a topic that Tiff and I have talked about with each other, and while we have learned useful skills such as how to build a garden and how to get a squirrel out of our living room, we know there are far deeper lessons to be learned. Here is one perspective to ponder with your teen.
We shine the light; we do not hide it.
During times of emergency, we often discover that panic is contagious. But the good news is that the message of Jesus is way more contagious than any chaos we face. So, how can we, as the Church, respond to chaos?
We shine the light; we do not hide it. Check out these words from Jesus:
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 NIV
When the world gets dark, we shine our light. We don’t hide ourselves away. We seize any and every opportunity to light up dark places with the light of God’s love. What does that look like in emergencies?
It looks like helping our neighbors. It looks like giving generously to the church and other organizations who are making a difference in your community and helping those impacted by tragedy. It looks like serving others, taking people meals, sharing our supplies, and countless other things.
Because here’s the thing: following Jesus isn’t just something that we do once a week when we make it to church. Following Jesus is a radical, daily decision to die to ourselves and put God and others first.
In uncertain times, people are more likely than ever to search for answers. People are looking for hope.
Let’s be people who don’t just say we love others—let’s really love them. Let’s be known for more than a gathering once a week. Let’s be known for meeting needs, for dealing hope, and for shining light into darkness.
What can we do amidst a crisis? We shine the light; we do not hide it.
Pray: God, You have given me so much. Help me to share Your love with others in my path. Help me to have more than a once-a-week faith. Show me what it looks like to serve You daily. Open my eyes to opportunities to shine Your light to others. Help me share Your love and Your hope to others who are looking for answers. In Jesus’ name, amen.