The other day we celebrated my wife and my youngest grandchild’s birthdays together.
It was, of course, a COVID appropriate party with only one friend and my kids in attendance. The joy of a late fall party is that it gets dark right after supper and so, while the little ones were still awake, we had a glow stick dance party! I raided the local dollar store for a variety of glow sticks, chose a playlist that celebrated the two birthday girls and then we shut the lights out and flailed around a bit (that’s what we call dancing).
The glow sticks are benign in the light but make it dark and they become mesmerizing tubes of magic. As I think about that experience, the words of Jesus’ come to me: “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 4:14).
As we trudge our way through COVID-19, our buildings may be quiet but there is no reason for the Church lights to be turned off. Each and every believer has the opportunity to shine brightly when the times are darkest. My prayer for my own congregation is that they would be as mesmerizing as glow sticks to those living in darkness. Christianity is incredibly resilient because it is birthed in individual people and is fueled by God himself and not by buildings and programs. People are inevitably drawn to the light and upon inquiry discover the good news that Jesus can help them come fully alive again to God.
This is a two-fold encouragement. The first is to Christ-followers: Live Jesus out loud. Somebody near you is struggling in darkness and needs your light. The second is to those experiencing darkness of some sort. If you see someone who glows with hope and peace and joy and good deeds, go ahead and ask them about the source of their light.