Wednesday, January 30, 2013

YOU are the Light of the World

Tuesday greetings!  I hope everyone is having a wonderful day. 
So today, I wanted to reflect on the Gospel reading from this past Sunday.  For those of you who do not remember it or where not there, no it is.

When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."

Luke 4:16-21

So I am currently reading a book called Uncommon Youth Ministry, by Jim Burns.  In this book, he talks about how when youth grow up and become adults, and look back at their youth groups they were involved in, a trend emerged.  Adults do NOT remember the programs that their youth minister worked so hard to plan and organize.  But it was the people that and the experiences that stuck with them when they were there.  I think about that as I read this scripture from Luke.  When these people left the synagogue that Jesus had just read, do you think they remembered what he said? 

If I hadn't posted the scripture, would you be able to tell me what it said?  I know I probably wouldn't be able to do that without looking it up.
But I think that this people probably remember how Jesus read, remembered his presence.  How powerful of a presence must that have been?  This man who was sent he to teach, doing what he does, teaching!  Proclaiming that the "Spirit of the Lord is upon me!" 

 How would that not give you goose bumps!  Just imagine what it would have been like to be there!

Listening as Jesus begins his ministry in Nazareth.  Listening as he proclaims his mission.  God's mission.  Our mission.

No doubt about it.  Jesus was a very talented man.  His gifts helped him on his mission.  When you think of words that describe Jesus, teacher and healer might be two words that pop into your head.  What gifts do you think he had that helped him? 
Calm, patient, caring, understanding, the list can go on and on.

Now look at yourself. What gifts do you have?  What are your talents?  What are you good at? 

I am sure this list can go on and on too.  Writing, math, sports, singing, playing an instrument, dancing, running, golf, solving problems, staying calm, being a leader....honestly, take some time and think of these things.  What are your gifts?

I use the word gift because that is what it is, the ability to do something - creative, something useful. 

One of my favorite parables is the Parable of Salt and Light.  (Matthew 5:13-16)  In the parable Jesus explains how when you light a lamp, you do not hide the light or cover it up.  You place it up high and let it shine for all to see. 

Same with your gifts.  Do not hide them or try to shield them from others.  These are your gifts from God.  They were given specifically to you!  Do not hide them from others.  Let your light shine bright for all to see. Because these gifts come from God, who has in mind not only the individual, but everyone all together. 

Remember, YOU are the light of the world.

Freedom God, I know you are already working in the world. I want to join you! Thank you for giving your Spirit within me to guide me. Lead me in truth. Amen

May your gifts burn like a fire,  
bringing warmth to everyone you meet. 
May your gifts light the world 
and reveal the goodness of God.
May your gifts today be embraced
and expressed
with creativity,
making you useful in God's mercy.

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