Friday Followings: The Light of the World

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
Well, the summer solstice is upon us. Today marks the longest day of the year for anyone living north of the equator. That, of course, includes all of us in South Dakota. Technically speaking, the summer solstice occurs this morning at exactly 10:54 local time. The sun will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer, or 23.5 degrees north latitude. Thanks Google.
 
On this “longest day of the year” I’m thinking about light and darkness. What is the only way to get rid of darkness? To shine light into its midst. The darkness disappears.
 
In Jesus’ day, one of the major celebrations of the year was called the Festival of Tabernacles. During this festival and feast, the people of Israel would dance through the night, celebrating and remembering God’s deliverance of his people from slavery in Egypt. To keep the party going throughout the night, four giant candelabras or lampstands (maybe 75 feet high) would be shining brightly all night long. With the darkness of night being overcome by the incredible light, Jesus stands up and makes his great statement, “I am the Light of the World.”
 
With this claim, Jesus says that for all those who trust in him, the darkness of sin is defeated. The things of darkness, like violence, hatred, prejudice, and self-centeredness, do not win the day. No, in Jesus, the Light of the World, the power of sin, death, and darkness is defeated. The light of God’s love shines brightly and gives light, even amidst this world’s darkness.
 
Today, give thanks that Jesus loves you and that his light is given to you. Just as we light a candle at each person’s baptism and recall Jesus being the Light of the World, we also recite the words of Jesus which give us our life’s purpose: “Let your light shine before others that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
 
No matter if it is summer time or winter, let the light of Jesus shine in you and through you to bring light and love to this world for which God so deeply cares.
 
On this day of summer solstice, ask yourself these questions. Where do you need the light of Jesus in your life? And who can you shine light upon today?
 
This weekend in worship we continue our series on the book of Acts called “Spirit Filled Living.” Please read Acts 10:34-43.
 
See you in worship!
 
Pastor Tim