2 Corinthians 4:1–12
Therefore, since it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose heart. We have renounced the shameful things that one hides; we refuse to practice cunning or to falsify God’s word; but by the open statement of the truth we commend ourselves to the conscience of everyone in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
We are God’s Lanterns, lit by Jesus with an un-extinguishable light of love, reads the scripture for today. Go thou and do as Jesus would do. Enter the darkness and let that light shine. He has given you all that you need for the journey.
In corporate worship on a holy day of Sabbath we take a deep breath and follow it to silence before confessional prayer, we become “woke” in the reading of scripture and inspired by the sermon of the week. And we at LPC are equally blessed by an opportunity to sit bathed in candlelight, within the hum of chant, to be opened to a deeper communication with God during the holy listening in Taizé one Sunday a month.
In the midst of weekday whirlwinds Sundays are easily forgotten. What if we simply remembered our call to be Lanterns and gave that over to God’s direction? We might find that we can be living those Sunday moments throughout the hours and minutes of our days. By just being open we can experience divine appointments, with one other, maybe even a stranger, an appointment for listening. The pathway to the interior heart receives his light of love in that moment. It is not the only way but a no lesser way. It was His way, and it can be ours.
Have you made the connection that Jesus, in meeting the Samaritan woman at the well, gave foundational guidance for the beginning of the #metoo movement? But Jesus did not create an organization to meet the need of a sex-trafficked soul. He met her one on one. It was His way. We can make His Way our Way as He invites us to do.
Dear God, we come to thee in silence, fortified, challenged, and summoned by Sunday’s message, supported and inspired by a holy community of believers who are “walking each other home.” We thank you for the privilege of silence in worship when we can hear you as you tune our hearts into praise and service. Set our feet on your path and our focus on where the light you have placed in each one of us needs to shine. In the business of Mondays and all the days after let us know how best to follow you.
Forgive us when we come to you like we would the Wizard of the Emerald City, a magician to eradicate all unpleasantness. Give us loving hearts like the one needed by the scarecrow, courage like that needed by the foolish lion, and a discerning mind like that needed by the tin man. Bless us on the journey. We give you all the honor and praise for giving us all that we need to follow you. Amen.