August 14, 2022
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE:
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples in which the Holy Spirit dwells? Yes, the very same Holy Spirit in you whom you have received [as a blessing] from God! You are not your own. You were bought [sealed] at a cost [dear to God.] Therefore, honor God [who has given you the great gift] with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6.19-20)
It seems to me that, as a follow-up to the previous reflection, we in the world are making great efforts to normalize the broken world. There is this seeming desire to say what is “unnatural” is natural. There are even Christ followers who would then say “God created the unnatural and so all the broken systems and people in the world are exactly what they were intended to be. They’re okay so I am okay.” That’s not okay. I will say it. It is my reflection on God’s Word with the understanding that we are created essentially to reflect God. But, the “transactional analysis” mentioned above is not the “transformational analysis” which is the gospel of Jesus the Christ. We are promised to be “new” creatures when we confess our desire to promote self and all its needs and wants is serving no good and true purpose. With the confession of faith, being strong enough to admit the failure and fault of our decision, must also come a profession of faith. That profession declares the truth about who we are in God’s image, in God’s sight and in God’s desire for our lives as it reflects Him. I cannot help but think of the illustration presented to me by a Sunday School teacher who also happened to be a science teacher. She said, “The moon does not create its own energy and therefore it does not emit its own light. The earth around which the moon revolves is essentially the same. However, they both are seen in the reflection of light which comes from that which does create its own energy- the Sun. The Sun emits its own light.” Pretty good for a science lesson on astronomy. Then came the real lesson.
She went on to say: we do not create our own energy and therefore we do not emit our own light. We are created to reflect the light of the One who did create us and who did put His life energy into us. He makes us a light in the world. It is a powerful light when used as God intended. But, when we fracture the lens through which the light passes, we only see portions of the light and not all of it. Sometimes, what we see is the absence of light in places because we get in the way of the light. The absence of light is dark. And there is a lot of darkness in us and in the world because too many things get in the way of the light of God. With that she moved her hand in front of a lantern. On the wall, in a lighted room, we could still see the outline of her hand which held back the light of the lantern from getting to the wall. Then she asked, “What do you see?” We all yelled, “I see your hand. I see your hand.” She turned off the lantern and stood quietly. We thought something was wrong. We got quiet and looked at her. She looked back at us and said, “That is our life without Jesus. When we get in the way of His light instead of being in His light, then people only see us and that is a dark day. Jesus is the light of the world and desires to be the light of every person. We only have two real choices. Choice one is that we can be “in the light” and know the love of God that brings light to our lives in every circumstance and situation. That is where we find faith, hope and love. I asked, “What is choice two?” She looked right at me and then looked at each one of us directly because responding, “You can choose to get in the way of the light and your life can cast a deadly shadow.” I replied, “But, shadows aren’t deadly. I see shadows all the time and no one gets hurt.” The class got behind me on that one. She put her finger to her lips and without saying a word, we all got quiet. “So, when you just spoke and got the class behind you, the shadow of doubt in your statement got the focus over the light of the truth I just gave you. What should come first: the shadow or the truth?” We all spoke out “The truth!” She then followed up that shadows do not kill but they hinder the light of truth from being seen. We should always be pointing to the light of Jesus so that people see they don’t have to live in the shadows where life grows with difficulty. She challenged us to put a flower in a closet and see what happens after a couple of days. (I did, by the way, and the flower wilted and nearly died.)
Mighty ones of God, followers of the way of Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, God’s Only begotten Son, our Lord and Savior and friend, He who is the light of the world that the darkness cannot overshadow, when the unnatural is called natural, we exchange the light of truth for the lie of darkness. The darkness surely exists. We all have sinned, and we sin still because no one is perfect; the perfect is yet to come again. Sin is the shadow of death. That shadow in the world has misshapen our lives right down to our DNA over time. There are things in our lives and in our world that God did not create, yet they exist as the sin-fected anomalies of the created original. They exist because there is still truth in them as God creates the essence and image of all life. That is what we are intended to promote. We should not promote the image of the broken world which has damaged the way we see the essence and image of God in our lives. There are still only two choices available to us in the world. We can choose to live in the light of truth or we can choose to live in the shadows. If we are in the light, we will live full and abundant lives. If we live in the shadows, we will live lives that are a mere fraction of what they can be. We can settle for less than our best. Or we can press on to what is best as God can and will enlighten us to see by His Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Light!
OUR CALL TO PRAYER:
Light of life and Light of the World, shine on us, in us and through us today. We align our focus, the focus of our lives, on the truth of who we are meant to be. We will not settle for what it is that the world says we will be. We pray for the more and not the less. We give You the best we have in Jesus’ name. AMEN.