"The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—whom shall I dread?" ~ Psalm 27:1 (BSB)
Once again, as we near the end of the year, we approach the traditional Jewish holiday of Chanukah.
Last year, we talked a bit about the significance of the celebration and the powerful interplay of that celebration with who we are as believers in the Messiah.
I'm tempted to jump right back into that conversation because I find it to be so poetic, powerful, and beautiful.
Here we are. We're not just nearing the end of any year, we're nearing the end of 2020.
As long as there are people to remember it, I suspect any reference to the year 2020 will have worlds and realms and concentric expanding spheres of meaning.
In some ways, we've maybe made mountains of molehills looking to make an end of the world event of wild boars who raided a cocaine field in Italy, and whatnot.
Maybe that's a silly example.
Yet, in other lives, this has been a very hard year... for a whole lot of people. I would even venture to say it has been challenging year for everyone, worldwide, in some way, shape, or form.
There have been stressors unlike any we've seen, a seeming perfect storm. And, with fear leveraged as a tool, for many it has been right there in the daily frame of reference, nearly nonstop, since it all began.
Normally, this is not the kind of thing I talk about. So, why now?
As believers, we have the peace of knowing Who is in control and that He can use all things. That is truly inexplicably valuable in a moment like this.
We are now entering a holiday acknowledged for a miraculous amount of light, much from little.
One might even correlate it to a mustard seed.
So many people are focused on darkness in the world at the moment, whether confronted by issues in their own lives or by what is presented to them via (social) media.
Jesus Himself told us to "let [our] light shine before men, so that they... should glorify [the] Father..."
As we come into the Jewish festival of lights, may we endeavor to ever shine The Light, may we shine hope, may we be an example of the Peace that passes all understanding in a confused and struggling world... that they should glorify our Father in the Heavens.
Father, Thank You, for helping us to be salt and light. Thank You, for helping us to shine your Light and love and peace in our own little world. Help us to walk out all of this as the children You created us to be. All these things we pray in the most Holy name of an infant born in a manger one long ago night.
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn't overcome it." ~ John 1:5 (WEB)
"You are the light of the world. A city lying on a hill is unable to be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but upon the lampstand, and it gives light to all those in the house. Thus let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and they should glorify your Father in the heavens." ~ Matthew 5:14-16 (BLB)
"While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light..." ~ John 12:36 (KJV)
"For You, O LORD, light my lamp; my God lights up my darkness." ~ Psalm 18:28 (BSB)
"The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up." ~ Matthew 4:6 (AKJ)
May the Good Lord bless you and keep you, friends... always, in all ways. Amen.