Advent devotion: Free to shine

Mission | December 15, 2017

“For though my faith is not yours and your faith is not mine, if we are free to light our own flame, together we can banish some of the darkness of the world.” – Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

I stumbled upon this quote recently. It seemed quite timely and aligns well with the Advent theme of “A Light in the Darkness.” 

At times, the United States, and the world at large, seem filled with darkness. One just has to watch the news to see the cruel and inhumane things we humans do to each other on a daily basis. Politics feel unstable and raw, and nations are at odds. Things seem darker and less safe than they did just a few years ago.

But there is hope. And each of us has a candle of faith that we can light to help brighten the future. With every action we take, we can light the darkness if we choose. Or we can add to the darkness.

I think the message in this quote is to let your own light and others’ lights shine. Even if they don’t shine in the same way, or the same color, or at the same time as yours. Let people practice their own religions, whether it matches your belief structure or not. Let each type of family grow in their love, whether they look like yours or not. Let individuals who march to a beat of a different drum shine their lights just as bright as yours. And in the end, the world will end up looking brighter.

Thinking about a world like this fills me with hope. The spirit of St. Paul Lutheran and its congregation fills me with hope. May this Advent season be a light to you and your family, and all those around you.

Kristina Voyna works at Deere & Company. She and her wife, Teri, live in Bettendorf with their son, Leo. 

Editor’s note: Kris was so inspired by this year’s theme, she submitted three devotions. Read them on Saturday and Sunday.

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One comment on “Advent devotion: Free to shine”

  • Kathie Heaps

    December 16, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Kris, I know you live this idea. Because of your light others see better.

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