Aloha Friday Messages – July 19, 2013 – This Little Light

1329AFC071913 – This Little Light

Read it online here, please.

Exodus 34:30When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to approach him.

James 1:17Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Matthew 17:2As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light.

Do you know someone whose face is always filled with the Light of God? We see folks like that from time to time, people whose whole life is so immersed in God that His Glory shines in their appearance and character. Every disposition they have points to God. They are always happy – not to say they don’t get angry or sad or lonely once in a while like the rest of us – but even in those times, the Light is still there to see; it’s just behind a bit of a veil. Moses put on a veil when he spoke with the children of Israel because he was imbued with the Sh’khinah Glory of God –  the manifestation of His actual presence when dwelling in the Temple. (Sh’khinah is an ancient word used to describe the “abiding, dwelling, or habitation” of the physical manifestations of YHWH described in Exodus 24:16, and 40:35; 2 Chronicles 7:1-3.) We have said several times that GOD is LOVE, remember?

LIGHT ≡ GOD ≡ LOVE ≡ TRUTH ≡ WAY ≡ LIFE ≡ FOREVER

James speaks of God as the Father of lights. He is the creator of light, the source of Light, the giver of Light, the Light of the World is Jesus, and the Spirit – the giver of life and love – leads us to the Kingdom of Light. No one else can BE Light; only God Light. (Remember that the symbol “” means “is identical to.”) “In him there is no darkness at all.” In our lives, however, we are often plagued with darkness. Our light is somewhat quenched when we are betrayed, hurt, confused, or tired, or feel unloved, unwanted, and unappreciated. Some folks are still so saturated in the Light of the Spirit that it permeates not only their lives but also the lives of persons around them – even strangers. How can this be? Are they super-Holy, or super-human? How can they be such brilliant conduits of the Light of God?

Ah, beloved. It is so simple. We are created in the image of God, in the image of Light, in the image of Love. We can pray with confidence, “May the constant hope I have in You be the Light that drives away the darkness and draws me and everyone I meet to your perfect integrity, endless mercy, and eternal salvation.” When we turn to the Light, we are filled with the liveliness of Hope and Joy because of God’s Eternal Love. Here is a simple way to remember that:

Almighty
God
Is
Love
Eternal

Be agile (alert, responsive, swift, lively, clearheaded, bright) in your love: Be A.G.I.L.E.

What is it that makes our faces shine? Paying off our bills? The day we get married? When we experience the birth of a child? Perhaps when we attend an ordination or graduation? Yes, of course all of these and many more – any moment of happiness that is overwhelmingly fulfilling the deepest desires of our hearts. Even when darkness comes we know it is “better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.” But sometimes, Beloved, the darkness is so intense that it is unbearable.

These times of intense darkness are sometimes called The Dark Night of the Soul. We can feel that even GOD has drawn the curtains of darkness around us and we are utterly alone. We can feel that when a loved-one betrays us. Darkness clenches our hearts when our child’s rebellion is malicious toward us and injurious for them. Darkness clouds our minds, and sometimes even our faith, when we are confronted with persistent and heinous injustices. And all the while we clutch a tiny, flameless candle unwilling to strike our last match to bring light back to our lives; we shrivel and curse the darkness and sometimes blame God for our circumstances or even question God’s Wisdom in allowing this or that to happen to us. In the grand scheme of things, we’ve gotten a splinter in the heel of our hand and we rail against God and the world because we are being crucified. Not even close, Beloved; not even close. Remember that right after the Transfiguration when Jesus’ face shone like the sun, Peter was so oblivious to what was going on, he wanted to set up a memorial there on the mountain; he wants his mountain top experience to go on “forever.” Jesus says, NO it’s time to leave the mountain. He must pass through the Valley of Death so there can be and will be a Resurrection. It is time for him to carry his cross. It is time for us to carry our crosses – even the ones that fall on us, as expected, in darkness.

I recall a story about a man who heard a sermon about “Take up your cross and follow me.” He was moved by it and decided he should go to Confession. The Priest tells him, “For your penance, pray, and continue to carry your cross with humility & love.” He goes back home, sees his wife cooking in the kitchen, walks over to her, picks her up, and carries her to the recliner in the den. He stands there with her gazing with love into her eyes. She is amazed and says, “Not in 25 years have you carried me like that? What gives?” The husband recounts what the Priest told him, “Father told me to carry my cross.” And she says, “OK. But let me down now so I can carry YOU!” We all have our cross to bear (I am my cross). All of us, at one time or another, think it’s a pity no one else can see how much we are suffering. That is when we truly are in the dark. We have forgotten God knows where we are and what is happening. He speaks to us quietly, in the reassuring calm of a loving father, and says “Remember you have Light.” But we do not hear, or hear imperfectly, because we want the spotlight, not the Light of Love. We too easily forget that it is from these crosses we bear that we find the deepest fulfillment in life – kids, spouses, friends and colleagues, our mission and ministry – the things that are hard but ought to be easy because they are the sources of our Joy. Joy that comes from hard work and sacrifice is the only lasting joy, the JOY that comes through the Cross, especially in the darkness. (See Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33, and Luke 23:44. Contrast those with John 1:4-13) Our resurrection, like his, comes after our Calvary and death in the dark.

Christ willingly laid down his life; he did not crucify himself. He submitted to the cross. Christ did not willingly descend from the cross; he was lowered down by others. He submitted to the grave. It was God’s will which Christ obeyed by neither lifting himself up on the cross nor descending from the cross on his own. Shall I, then, shall you, shall we attempt to evade our cross? How say you, Beloved? Grace was won for us by Christ’s obedience. What Easter lies beyond your Cross? That is a day when your face – your whole being – will shine like the Son. But for right now, in this present darkness, find the Light of God in you and let your little light shine!

 

Share-A-Prayer____________

SP – Showing early signs of dementia. Pray for strength in family members, courage as the condition progresses, and the hope of a reversal of this cross.

IL – A child’s opposition to this parent is causing disruptions throughout the family. Pray for repentance, Peace, and restoration of family unity.

KC – Energy, wisdom, and discernment in upcoming decisions about life and work.

SK – Recovering from a mild stroke. Pray for rapid and effective recovery accompanied by a renewed commitment to health, and for faith and strength throughout the family.

Pray for the conversion of sinners everywhere. Ask Jesus to help them to nurture and cherish the spark of His Spirit that dwells in every living soul. We pray on behalf of those whose faith is tepid so that, through the fervency of our prayer, their faith will become stronger.

Pray the God will Bless and protect the lives and works of the gallant men and women who serve in our Armed Forces around the world. For those who are in the greatest danger in combat zones, send your mighty angels to stand with them against our foes.

 

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved!

 

 

Light and Love to all of you!

 candle-animationcandle-love-heart-animated

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Type answer *

Pages Email Newsletter Categories Archives Connect