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Monthly Message

SEASON OF LIGHT

There is an old story of a seaside community that loved its lighthouse for all the lives it had saved from their rocky coast. The details of the story are fuzzy to me, but essentially the community spent more and more time celebrating the beauty and history of the lighthouse, and less and less time actually tending to the light. They finally decided there was not enough time and money to do both, so they shut down the life-saving light and made the place into a museum to celebrate what was no longer happening.
 
 

Epiphany is the season of lights. Isaiah 60 says two things: ARISE, SHINE, FOR YOUR LIGHT HAS COME, AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD HAS RISEN UPON YOU (v.1), and DARKNESS SHALL COVER THE EARTH, AND THICK DARKNESS THE PEOPLE (v.2).

 
So what is it going to be for you and me in 2017? Darkness or light? Celebrating what’s no longer happening or faithfully tending the Light in the world’s darkness so that lives might be saved? Will we be celebrating CTK as a lighthouse or as a museum? All of these questions are well asked by us each New Year as we resolve to do better than the previous year personally and as a congregation.
 
Darkness is no surprise. It is all around us in terms of sin, death, and both personal and world events that continue to bring fear, frustration, and confusion. What surprises people is when Light shows up in the midst of it. Doctors say that older people who still have a sense of purpose to their lives stay healthier physically and mentally. Young people who have hopes and dreams of making a difference in the world are the same way.  Instead of just remembering the “good old days” or waiting around for better days, wake up each morning charged up to surprise the people living in darkness by shattering it by reflecting God’s light coming from within you. You are called to the light. Luther said, “The Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, ENLIGHTENED me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.” You are enlightened to be enlightening!
 
Arise! Shine! You are CTK, a lighthouse to the world not in a general, theoretical way, but in purposeful, practical ways each day you walk around in this world of darkness. Do you work in a specific place, to go school in a particular classroom, keep a home or apartment at an address that is yours? There you go: reasons to wake up in the morning filled with light for those sometimes dark places. Remember what you were baptized from and for, from darkness into light! Stay recharged each Sunday morning. As your light is tended to by the Sacrament of the body and blood of Him who is the light of salvation, the Lord presents youeach day before the dark-fearing world as light!  Celebrate not what you have done yesterday or what you will do someday later. Celebrate the light God generates in the darkness today manifested in wherever you happen to show up. Surprise! Think: Here I am, folks, reflecting the reason I was given the grace to wake up one more day. I’m a walking-around epiphany; God is my light and in Him there is no darkness at all!

 

Pastor Chuck

Posted by Monthly Message at 10:06 AM

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