Have you ever had your power go out when you least expected it?
In high school, I worked at a bakery where on occasion we would lose power at the most unexpected moments. It often seemed tied to a traffic accident, but whatever the cause, the power outage would leave us in sudden darkness. Ovens, which we needed for operation, went kaput in the blink of an eye. We had to open the cash register manually and complete each transaction by hand.
I look back on those days and remember the feeling of anxiety. For some reason, a slight panic always set in. But after those first passing breaths, I found some joy waiting at the cash register, as the light from the front windows penetrated into the dark shadows of our front room.
Customers would cautiously open the door. “Are you open?”
“Yes, come on in.”
“Do you have cookies?”
And in that usually busy space, a quiet rhythm of sorts would take over. There was a joy and peace in the ambiance of broken sunlight casting through our front window. We knew soon as the power outage passed, we’d have ten times the work to complete before closing. But something about greeting customers as they walked into our dark space, meeting their hopeful glances with a sure nod and a resolute “Why yes!”, made power outage darkness seem light.
I can’t think of a better analogy for our lives as Christians.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”
See, our world lives in power outage darkness. They’re blind to it, but it’s there. So when the news reels another segment of woeful chaos or when a loved one receives the dreaded report from the doctor, there’s a hope we carry into the shadows. We are the broken sunlight casting through their front window. We carry with us a purpose found only in Jesus. It’s the only thing able to resurrect people from a world buried in the darkness, lost in empty spaces, void of a reason for living.
And yet, far too often we bury our light, letting the shadows fill our lives and those around us. My dear friend, as Paul says in Galatians, “Who hindered you?”
The message of the Gospel is joy and peace in an anxiety filled world.
“Let your light so shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”