July 3, 2020

Published July 3, 2020 by St Matthews Lutheran Church in Daily Message

“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). 

I remember the first time I ever saw fireworks. Dad was stationed on board the flag ship for the Mediterranean Sixth Fleet, we had moved to France where the ship was home-ported, and it was Bastille Day. We had gone to downtown Nice to watch the fireworks and I was a little frightened by the noise but also fascinated by what I was seeing – the lights and the colors were absolutely amazing.

Since then, my fireworks watching has been here in the United States and I’m still amazed and fascinated. In his article in Living Lutheran,(July 3, 2020) Kimberly Knowle-Zeller says, “There’s something sacred about bearing witness to the bright array of colors streaked across a dark, night sky. It’s a reminder that, even in the darkness, light can shine.” That was a new thought for me.

In her article, Pr. Knowle-Zeller goes on to tell about the first time she and her husband took their own children to see fireworks. Like me, her young daughter was afraid of the bangs and flashes. She goes on to say, “God calls us to let our light shine before others, but sometimes fear inhibits us from taking action. I believe being a light for Christ means acting in faith even when we feel afraid, embarrassed or unsure how to move forward. “

This, too, sounds a familiar chord for me. Its not easy being church right now when we still can’t gather together, when we see the number of cases of Covid-19 rising again, when nothing feels “normal.” And still Christ sends us to be his light shining in the darkness of life.

As we celebrate the freedoms we enjoy here, let us always remember that, as Christians, that freedom is to serve others.

Ask the Spirit to show us how to serve as God’s hands and voice in caring for the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of our neighbors.