Following the Light
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12
Everyone wants to be in the church on Christmas Eve. That’s the night we light the candles, sing “Silent Night,” and feel the joy of Christ encircle us.
But are churches full during Lent? Not so much.
That’s okay, but I always wonder what has changed so drastically since Christmas Eve. This year on Christmas I preached from John about Christ as the “light that shines in darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it.” Then, as a packed sanctuary passed the light from the Christ candle from pew to pew, I challenged everyone there to commit as they raised their candles to one thing: this time pledge to follow the light of Christ not just at Christmas, but throughout the year.
As far as I could see, every candle was raised. And afterwards I heard many say, “I’m going to do things differently this year.” But the reality is that our best intentions don’t always win out, and by the time Lent rolls around the promises of Christmas are often long forgotten
That’s okay. We have all gotten off the path at times. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get back on.
Have you ever been lost in the dark? If so, how did you find your way? My guess is that you looked for the light, and you followed it back to the path.
Are you feeling lost now? It’s not too late. Look for the light of Christ. Follow it back to the path you want to take. But don’t stop there. Let the flame reignite you, lift it up, and now that you are found once more, decide that you will shine again.
God, this little light of yours, help me to follow it, and to shine.
Emily C. Heath is the Senior Pastor of the Congregational Church in Exeter, New Hampshire, and the author of the forthcoming Glorify: Reclaiming the Heart of Progressive Christianity.