Today, I declared a snow day. It’s not that there is too much snow here, but because things got too complicated. Last night the organist called to say that she was storm-stayed in a city a four hour drive from here. Then the snow hit here. The highway between here and where the hastily procured substitute organist lives is in bad shape and she would prefer not to come. I understand that. I don’t like to be driving in the snow and ice either. But today we were marking the start of the Sundays of Lent with a congregational cantata that I wrote called “Tell me the stories of Jesus”…. can’t sing 10 hymns or more without someone to play. Also there are many (MOSTLY) seniors and to risk them coming and having a slip and fall is not something I want to contemplate. So I declared a snow day. Every one can stay home, stay warm and stay safe.
So that gave me time to look at the Lenten Project for today and meditate on the Scripture passage and the questions that Becky asks.
Today the passage was from the Gospel of John 1: 1-5
The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
in readiness for God from day one.
Everything was created through him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out. (The Message)
Today, we were asked to think about the Light of the World.
Amazingly, light is something that I am thinking about today. In between flurries, the sun is shining brightly and transforming the snow covered landscape into a spectacle of light as the ice crystals in the snow dance and shimmer in the Sun’s glow. It looks cheerful and inviting which, for a confirmed snow hater, is quite a statement.
There is something about sunlight and how it brightens and alters our world that makes our spirits lift. But more to the point, there is something about Son-light and how he brightens and alters our world that makes our spirits lift. “The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.”
That same light floods our world with the power of creation, and the power of redemption.
That same light shines the warmth of God’s love in our hearts.
That same light fills us to overflowing.
That same light glows in us and radiates through us.
But only if we see the light and acknowledge what it is, who it is from and what it means.
Today in the Lenten Project Becky asks us to consider this light. She asks us to ponder the following questions:
Jesus brings light and life into the world but do we see it?
Have we seen it?
Are we shining it?
Do you remember that hymn from your Sunday School days, “Jesus bids us shine?”
Jesus bids us shine with a pure clear light
Like a little candle burning in night
In the world is darkness, so we must shine
You in your small corner, and I in mine.
Jesus bids us shine, then, for all around
Many kinds of darkness in this world abound
sin and want and sorrow, so we must shine
You in your small corner and I in mine.
Just as the snow sparkles and reflects the light, we are to sparkle and shine and reflect the light of Christ into the world. We are called to add our small light to his big light and together to illumine the world with a love that will never die, a hope that believes boldly, and a joy that chases away the shadows. We can only do that if we see and know the light.
This being Sunday let us join in an acrostic prayer:
Jesus bids us shine:
Jesus, Light of the world
Envelop us, we pray, in your love
Shine in our hearts until we are warmed through with your love
Urge us to step forth into your light and be your people
Shine through us and illumine our world
Begin now to do a new thing in us
Indicate the ways in which we must grow
Direct our thoughts and our hearts heavenward
Shine through us and illumine our world.
Urgently direct us
Send us forth in faithfulness
Shine through us and illumine our world
Heal us and make us whole
Inspire our living to reflect your goodness
Nurture our faith and cause it to soar
Empower us to live by your Spirit and shine through us. Amen.