Thursday, July 30, 2015

Lighting it up

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Have you ever felt so unworthy of the love of a God you know much about but so little of? Yeah, me too.

But we are called to be much more than that. It's actually quite mind-blowing, actually, that a good, loving but judging God would look to us for help of any kind. But He does. He wants us to do, well, things.

Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Yesterday I spent a rather long bit of time volunteering for everything in sight. My wife and I are learning our new community we live in by doing all we can in all the ways we can, like John Wesley prescribed so well.

I've joined a writer's group to help in any way I can, volunteered to help with the first days of Pre-K and Kindergarten next week at the local elementary school, I will be helping mentor at the alternative school, and today I'm going to the council on aging to see what I might be able to do. At the end of August, early September I will be starting a Celebrate Recovery program here at Coushatta First UMC along with Bible/Life Small groups on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.

Like someone said, I'm dancing as fast as i can.

Now, let me be as clear as bottled water. These are not all things I desire to do or especially think I'm good at. They are, however, things I feel help this community and help this local church to be the church. If a pastor can begin the process of healing, helping, honoring the kids and youth of the community, then perhaps, just perhaps, others will follow in new and unique ways.

It's about, I've learned the hard way, making relationships, and not just making those relationships in ones own church but even with those who last saw the door of the church when they were but kids. It's not easy for some of us.

 Just yesterday I was talking about having been rather shy as a youth and having found out rather recently that I am an introvert, which I'm told is not the same thing. So how in the world do you think I can go about meeting so many new people and taking those relationships deeper?

Because I get it somehow -- I am the light of the world. I have been called by a great God to make a difference. If that won't get your tired old body out of the bed in the morning and get you going on this road to salvation I simply don't know what will or can. It doesn't mean I do that every day, but it means I try till sweat pours from my forehead like blood.

By the way, we seem to get -- somehow -- that scripture that tells us that the people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. We get that. We accept that, because we figure Jesus can handle all this by himself.

But we struggle to understand that we, too, are the light. Oh, Jesus is the light not me, we think. But that's not what he said.

He said WE were.

Freaky, huh? Light was so important that it appears in the third verse of the Bible. "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. God said that the light was good, and he separated the light from darkness." Before us, light. Before Clyde the Lion, light. Before Lafayette and Aurora, light. Before darkness, light. LIGHT.

In a world where they're shooting some awfully good people for some awfully bad reasons, we can do more, we must do more, we simply have to do more. We need to be lighting our own wicks and letting our light shine like a red dusk.

Charles Mizilazzo said, "No candle loses any of its light when it lights another one."

Talk to a stranger in love today. Help a homeless person or pet today. Do something out of character. If it was easy, perhaps we wouldn't stretch ourselves so much.

Are we worthy? Nope. The Apostle Paul said it fairly clearly. All of us fall short. But He came to light us up, pull us up, help us up closer to him.

Don't you dare keep that to yourself. The stakes are too high.