A community church in North Andover, Massachusetts

February

From December on, I tend to think of the winter months as dark months. The December solstice marks the shortest day of the year. I often find myself grateful for many lights in the dark, cold nights, whether it’s from Christmas lights, streetlights, or the gentle glow from windows of family homes. Reflecting on this a bit, I was reminded of Jesus call in Matthew 5:13-20 that we Christ followers, disciples of Jesus, should be lights to the world. We should not worship in private and hide our faith away. Rather, in what we say and do, we should be lights in an often dark and frightening world, providing gentle direction to the source of all light and love found in Jesus.

It is awe-inspiring to think that we are all part of God’s plan to bring light into the world. We are called to do it in our good works. We are to let those good works be visible to others as a way to call them to God, to point them to Jesus and Jesus’ very different way of living in the world. Those good works can be quite simple too. American Baptist Churches USA recommends that when we speak of our faith to others, we tell stories of what Jesus has done for us in our lives. Everybody likes a good story. When we act, even the simplest things can make a difference. Sherry was out shoveling our walk in the recent snow when the postal carrier came by. As that busy mail carrier passed, Sherry was thanked for her part in making the job a little easier.

Both Sherry’s efforts and the mail carrier’s thanks were much appreciated, so both were uplifted, both received a little extra light in that moment.

From the miracle at the wedding in Cana, where Jesus turned water meant for traditional purification rituals into great wine for celebration, we’re reminded that our efforts can be joyful ones. To that end, this Easter season, Sherry and I are planning on organizing a community Easter egg hunt. If you would like to help, we’d love to have you join us.

While the weather may still be cold and seem dark and dreary, we can work on lighting up the night with our faith and our love for humanity. Wishing us all a blessed February.

~Pastor Jeff