Archive for December 28th, 2006

Let There Be Light

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

Today’s scripture: Isaiah 9:2 and Isaiah 60:1 (NRSV) (NLT)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Julie Benson):

Christmas is a story of Light. In the beginning, God said, “Let there be light!” And there was light. When God’s Son was born into the world, God said, “Let there be light!” And the glory of heaven flooded the night sky. When God enters our hearts, God says, “Let there be light!” And we are filled with the warmth and glow of God’s presence.

Like a fuzzy sweater on a cold winter day, my heart cozies into the warmth and glow that this season offers. I sing the songs; I spread some cheer; I sense the wonder and hope surrounding Jesus’ birth. I consciously slow myself down amidst the busyness to converse with the store clerk, help change a stranger’s spare tire in the rain, allow someone else to take the “better” parking spot. But are these niceties really all there is?

I pause to reflect upon what I am doing this Christmas season to shine my Light to those living in darkness. I cannot help but remember so many who do not feel the light shining at this time of the year: Those who have never experienced the joy of Christmas because of a traumatic past; folks who are chronically ill in hospitals, nursing homes, and mental institutions; offenders locked away somewhere in the prison system just trying to survive in their own society; the homeless out in the streets unable to find a way to make a new start.

I lower my head with hurt for these children of God and am overwhelmed with guilt that my role has been so small — not only at Christmas, but all the year through.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

Jesus calls us to LOVE one another. Jesus calls us to be a LIGHT in the world. God’s children come first — not agendas and meetings and car repairs and movies and shopping and bills. God’s children, ALL God’s children, come first!

Sounds good in theory, but how often do we stop speaking and start doing? This year for Christmas I am going to sit down and devise a plan for the year to be assured that I minister to those children of God whom I have neglected. A real, viable plan. Won’t you do the same? It will be the best present you could ever give to Jesus this year!

Thought and prayer for the day: God, remind me that I am here on Earth to be Light and Love — a witness to the Christmas story — even to the “forgotten ones.”

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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