Carry The Light Within You
“You are the light of the world. Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14,16)
As we prepare to confirm eleven of our 8th graders, these words of Jesus from his sermon on the mount come to mind. The same words were spoken at our baptism as a candle was lighted and presented to us, or most likely our parents if we were babies. But just what do they mean? Here’s a story that I think might help answer that question.
A young Rabbi said to the Master, “You know, when I join others in study and great feasts, I feel a great sense of light and life. But the minute it’s over, it’s all gone; everything dies in me.” The old Rabbi replied: “It is just this feeling that happens when a person walks through the woods at night, when the breeze is cool and the scent in the air is delicious. If another joins the traveler with a lantern, they can walk safely and joyfully together. But if they come to a crossroads and the one with the lantern departs, then the first must grope his way alone unless he carries the light within him.” -- from Tales of the Hasidim.
As with anyone who travels the highways of life, whether it be on interstates such as I-39 or I-80, or the longer and more fascinating pathways of faith, you need light to be able to even undertake, let alone complete, the journey. To travel in darkness only leads to bumping into obstacles and failure to reach our destination. So where do we find the light that we need?
Power companies provide the lights that are needed on streets and highways. But what about the light needed to illumine the road of faith? From where does that light come? Jesus says that we are that light, not for ourselves, but for others. The implication, of course, is that we are not meant to travel alone. Faith is a life-long journey that is meant to be undertaken in community—the community called the church. As we walk through life together the light of Christ that we carry within us serves to illumine the paths of our brothers and sisters who walk beside us.
Think of it this way. We know from experience that our internal lights do not always burn with the same intensity. At time of great confidence when faith is strong our lights burn their brightest. Then it is easy for us to light the way for others. But there are also those times of pain, doubt and fear when those lights flicker and dim almost beyond recognition. It is at these times we must rely on the brightly burning lights of others. We need each other’s support and guidance, for that’s what the light is for!
That’s not all; there is a bonus, as suggested by the little story above. As we walk together, sharing our faith, the Holy Spirit will be at work creating light within those with whom we share the good news of God’s saving love in Jesus. For many, it may be the first time in their lives they will have heard about or experienced God’s love. What a difference we can make in the world!
As we welcome the newly confirmed to full participation in the mission Christ has given us, let us encourage and help each other to let our lights shine brightly in our faith-journey together!
Call Committee Update
The Committee has appointed Carl Ambler as Chairperson. Soon you will find a box in the narthex for “Comments For The Call Committee.” Also, a congregational questionnaire is being compiled and will be mailed out to all congregational members in the near future. Committee members (and their contact information) are:
Richard Althaus (815) 866-7671 email@example.com
Carl Ambler (815) 910-7287 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheila Duttlinger (815) 910-2129 email@example.com
Aimee Holland (815) 910-3702 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ken Ladenburger (815) 488-7525 email@example.com
Page Leonard (815) 712-1755 firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa Nosalik (815) 414-1645 email@example.com
Myrna Simon (815) 866-1118 firstname.lastname@example.org
Our office hours are changing!
We will now be CLOSED on Fridays.
Regular office hours are
Monday - Thursday
from 8:30am to 4pm.
Our quilting ladies have been working on “Walker Bags” for residents of area nursing homes. They are also making them available to members of our congregation. You will find a basket full of these colorful and handy fabric bags in the Narthex. Please feel free to take one for yourself or someone you know.