Posts Tagged ‘#lightshinesinthedark’

It can seem that our world is a dire place, with so many evil acts, selfishness and hatred. It can seem hopeless … we can feel hopeless.

For Christ-followers, hope is the gift that we have accepted, that we are purposed to share, in acts and attitudes of love.

1967 might have felt similarly hopeless. It was during the time of the Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movement, Detroit riots, China tested it’s first hydrogen bomb, the Six-Day war (between Israel and neighboring Arab countries).

It was at this time that song writers Bob Thiele and George David Weiss wrote a song, that would be sung by Louis Armstrong … What a Wonderful World … in the midst of such a hopeless time in history.

Thiele stated, “We wanted this immortal musician and performer to say, as only he could, the world really is great: full of the love and sharing (that) people make possible for themselves and each other every day.”

Though this song was not written or sung as a song of praise, or from a Christian perspective, I find myself thinking of the words of writer and theologian, Fredrick Buechner:

“The place where God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

As a Christ-follower, I have been called to my family, my community around me physically, as well as this virtual one. My deep gladness is simple, it comes from the gift of love that God has offered and I have accepted … this is where I meet ‘my world’, who is hungry, ravenous for the life-giving hope of the love of Christ.

But I cannot meet my world’s hunger, I cannot offer nourishment from a place of hopelessness, from a place of fear. I need to first be fed the good fruits, be encouraged in hope which will allow the love to grow … hopefully spilling over to the world around me.

Garbage in = garbage out

Good people, we do life in the midst of such sorrow, for so many reasons these days … but we cannot allow it to dim the light that is in us.

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” MLK Jr.

LR Knost, author, feminist, social justice activist, said:

“Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.”


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This coming weekend, many Christian churches will begin to celebrate the season of Advent. It is a season on the Christian calendar which is intended for preparation of the coming celebration of birth of Jesus. Advent, as a word (in the Latin) means ‘coming’ and it is the coming of the Son of God, in human form, that we celebrate.

As with each year, the beginning of Advent follows two other days, familiar to North Americans, American Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Thursday, November 24, Thanksgiving is celebrated by the Americans.
According to Wikipedia, American Thanksgiving “became an official Federal holiday in 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” I believe, though, that it began, unofficially, with a feasting of the pilgrims and native Americans, after the safe arrival in the new land.

Friday, November 25, Black Friday is celebrated by North American shoppers.
Black Friday was a name given to the day following Thanksgiving, in Philadelphia, because of the increased traffic of that day. It has also been associated with the belief that many retailers do not go ‘into the black’ (financially) until that day … personally I refer to it as Black-eye Friday … just sayin’.

Then there is Sunday, December 27, when the celebration of Advent is begun by Christian churches.
The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.

All of these celebrations are greatly subscribed to, all are annual events, and none of them have to be negative.

The celebration, known as Thanksgiving, is one filled with food, family and thanks. Though we live best, live healthiest, if we live with thanksgiving in our hearts every day of the year. To be truly thankful is to give thanks to God, even when our outward circumstances do not make us feel thankful.

John 1:1-4 tells us what we can always be thankful for:

“At the beginning of time the Word already was; and God had the Word abiding with him, and the Word was God. He abode, at the beginning of time, with God. It was through him that all things came into being, and without him came nothing that has come to be. In him there was life, and that life was the light of men.

Then there is Black Friday, the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season. Somehow, though, this tradition has gotten dark … very dark. Each year there are stories of violence and aggression in the shopping malls. Greed and selfish ambition seem to extinguish the light that we receive through giving thanks.

And, once again, John (1:5) seems to remind us of the light to come:

“And the light shines in darkness, a darkness which was not able to master it”

Finally we have Sunday … Advent. It is anticipation personified … literally! It begins this coming Sunday, and includes each of the four weeks prior to Christmas Day. This is the season of remembering the waiting that the Jews have done prior to (and since) the birth of the Christ the Messiah.

And, back to John (1:6-9):

“A man appeared, sent from God, whose name was John. He came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, so that through him all men might learn to believe. He was not the Light; he was sent to bear witness to the light. There is one who enlightens every soul born into the world; he was the true Light. 

Jesus is that light, that John (the Baptist) was sent to witness. It is Jesus who gives us reason to be thankful. In our giving of gifts, we should be reminded that the gift of God, himself, was given for the world.

We wait, always on the lookout, for the presence of wonder.

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