March 4, 2019
My husband and I are attending another funeral today – the fourth in two weeks – and as we offer sympathy to people dealing with grief, we can believe that this is the worst darkness. Family members, friends and neighbors adjusting to losing someone who belonged strongly in their lives is so hard.
However, if we look around at all the people in our communities, we realize that so many are dealing with different forms of darkness, some much more difficult than grief. I say more difficult, even though these things can hardly be measured, because there is no support or the darkness is self-inflicted and repetitive.
This week many churches observe Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent leading to Jesus’ death and resurrection. One reference is to Queen Esther, whose exhortation to the Jewish people to fast and put ashes on their foreheads becomes instrumental in saving their lives. This helps us realize that darkness can even be political – something which speaks to our current national problems.
At the risk of seeming simplistic, I believe that the answer to political and societal darkness is the same as the answer to individual darkness. We need light, and it needs to come through Jesus, the Light of the World. One thing Jesus constantly reminds us of is that all things in our lives and our society are in God’s hands and will work together for His purposes despite human interference.
One sad thing related to our current situation is the misconception that Christianity must be put aside in all political affairs because some American citizens are not Christian. Instead, while honoring religious freedom and avoidance of any kind of persecution, we should embrace the Christian beliefs and ideals which will benefit all citizens.
As the early Christian leaders discovered, the whole world can benefit because some people dedicate themselves to sharing Jesus’ Light. Just as Jesus knew that His ministry to a small remnant of people in one small corner of the world could lead to the salvation of so many “throughout the earth,” we need to realize that when we seek the Light and offer others support in seeking the Light, we make a difference which can be contagious.
During this time before Easter (Resurrection Sunday), surrender your darkness to His light and shine, shine, shine – and those touched by your life will also shine.