A Light in the Darkness


Contributing Writer
Pastor Shawn Hannon
Hope Lutheran Church Arcade, NY

A few weeks ago, sunlight hit the altar of Hope Lutheran Church for the first time since 1986. Prior to the recent installment we didn’t have any windows. But now gone are the dark days of ages past. It’s a brand new morn.

Still, the most amazing part of the windows isn’t the way they shine on Sunday morning, but the way they light up the sanctuary all week. Now you have to understand, my office is just off the east side of the sanctuary. That means every day I go to work I navigate the dark sanctuary to find my desk and get to work. Very often that trek includes banging my knee on a pew or stubbing my toe on a kneeler. For 6+ years I’ve entered church with arms waving fully extended to feel for the path to safety. But now, I can see! And not just a little. I can see the whole church. And all from these six 14-inch portals we installed to the outside world.

And I see now that what the Evangelist John said is true: The light does shine in the darkness, and darkness definitely cannot overcome it (John 1:5). No matter how much darkness, even the smallest amount of light wins. Every time.

You’ve noticed by now that days are growing shorter. This weekend you like me will be setting your clocks back and entering Day Light Savings Time—what a joke by the way, but that’s a reflection for another day. Try as we might darkness is growing, and messing with our clocks won’t change that. But bearing our light into the world will. Because every time light shines in the darkness it wins. And for the record I’m not just talking about windows or light bulbs anymore.

As we enter this time where darkness grows, may we each see it as an opportunity to usher a little more light into the world. Maybe you can do it through a kind word or unexpected favor. Maybe it means reaching out to an old friend or making a new one. Maybe it’s time to forgive an old hurt. Maybe it’s time to give a little extra to someone in need. Whatever it is, may you become a light bearer shining in the darkness.

And when you do, remember no amount of light is too small. That’s the thing about light. Even when it’s little and the darkness seems like a lot, the light always wins. Things will always get brighter when the two meet. And, especially if you are reading this and you are a Christian, remember that like the windows we recently installed at my church, they sure do make a big difference on Sunday. But the biggest impact they make actually happens all week. May you let your light and faith shine in all you do as well.

Keep shining,

For more inspiration and insights from Pastor Shawn’s past columns, please visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on the Faith Matters page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.