Rev. Dr. Scott D. Hannon
St. John Lutheran Church, Amherst, NY
Let your light so shine. That’s what we say at baptisms and funerals.
In the case of the newly baptized, we are talking to them. You, child of God, let your light shine.
Let your light shine. In the case of the recently departed, we are talking to God. Heavenly Father, let your light shine.
In life and death, we pray… let light shine. We light candles to remember our beloved. In our sanctuary, the flame frequently flickers. Sometimes it’s the draft of a window or fan and at other times it’s just because someone walked by.
On occasion it’s just because the oil is low. We’ve tried to find a way around it, but we can’t. Sometimes it flickers.
As we go through life, each of us will find our flame tested from time to time. It will flicker. The drafts and winds of this world can blow harshly. Sometimes people try to put us out. Sometimes we’re just running low. We hear the call to shine but we can’t find the will or a way. I think this pandemic and the last several, several months of readjusted faith patterns and practices has put a great deal of pressure on Christians trying to shine. It’s hard to be light when you’re caught quite literally in the shadow of death.
The candle that flickers in our sanctuary – the candle that we light for baptisms and funerals – is called the Christ candle. It flickers, but it does not go out. It reminds us of what John’s gospel proclaims: “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it (John 1:5).”
Jesus Christ is the light of the world. The light no darkness can overcome.
As we Remember our Loved ones, we remember our prayers for light. We hear the call to be light. We cherish the gift that is Christ’s light. As the days grow darker and colder, we are invited to seek out light understanding that though our lights may be tested, the light of Christ cannot be extinguished.
May the light that shines perpetually in heaven, shine also in our homes, in our hospitals, in all those hallways we navigate through this troubled life, and in our Hearts.
So, Shin. Shine Where You Are.
For more inspiration and insights from Pastor Scott and 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.