“It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life.” Philippians 2:13-16
The moon brightened the predawn sky, although only as a saturating blotch in the cloud-flecked black. Stars poked through at occasional spots between charcoal tufts in the carbon infinity, too many hidden to decipher constellations. Still they twinkled ineffably, inviting wonder, as unseen tree frogs squirked rhythmically, adding to morning’s grand symphony.
In darkness, it is sometimes hard to get noticed. Even a noisy frog sound is difficult to distinguish from the crowd. But there’s something mesmerizing about stars, so unordinary and bright and everlasting when they punctuate the blackness, and that’s attention- grabbing at its best.
Many aspects of the culture have grown dim with division, suspicion, and derision. The gradual hardening of hearts has set firmly into a miserable status quo, bereft of civility and mutual respect. This brooding darkness needs the light of Jesus, even if only a poke at first. A sparkle-eyed smile, an unspoken kindness, a firm standing for an unpopular truth make a startling difference.
When all seem angry, agitated, or anxious, how can I interject peace? When talk descends to catty and condemning, how can I stir compassion and humility? When humor and gab turn ugly and banal, where will I interject lofty thought? When despair and brooding hang heavy, how will I uplift with consolation and real hope? When the buzz is a-tizzy over the spurious and scandalous and unsolved, how can I interject the significant? If I have heavenly light against which the world is blind and hardened, why would I not give it a chance to penetrate these flesh strongholds in my area of influence? (2 Corinthians 10:3-5,13)
The darker the times, the greater our opportunities to shine. Retreating to our incandescent safety dens does nothing to spread the gospel’s light. Our world is ripe for truth, and hope. When we break through with Jesus, He is power for their salvation. What reluctance, or fear, or selfishness, holds me back? (Matthew 5:14-16; Romans 1:16)
Jesus is the Way out of darkness, the Truth unshaken by ongoing opinions, deceit, and falsehood, the Life offered as escape from languishing and death. (John 14:6)
“Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
risen with healing in his wings.” ~Charles Wesley (1739)
Father, saturate me with Your grace and love. Let me be a poke-light at every opportunity in this dark world.