Advent devotion: Light of Jesus
In John 8:12, Jesus says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
In these turbulent times it is easy to lose sight of the light. As we prepare for Jesus’ birthday, his arrival in the world, I think it is worth reviewing those times in our lives when the light of Jesus lighted our way. We should do this, in my opinion, so we might help light the way for others, especially those who may not know Jesus.
For me and our family, one of those times was when we found our way to St. Paul Lutheran Church. We had decided as a family that it was time to find a new church home. As we were discussing where we might go, my oldest daughter, Nicole, suggested we try St. Paul. Her reason for suggesting this was based on her experiences at Camp Shalom in Maquoketa. This was in 1998. We decided to try St. Paul and, the rest is history, as the saying goes. St. Paul is a Christ-centered community that has been a vital part of our spiritual growth.
I mention this because, in my life growing up in different parts of the country, we attended several churches of various denominations. Only in one other church we attended was the light of Jesus really evident as it is here at St. Paul. I believe that Christian people are the lenses that Jesus uses to focus his light where it is needed. We should recognize and remember those times when a lens focused the light for us. so we might do the same for others.
If we all strive to light the way for others, then Jesus’ light is magnified. If you have ever attended a candlelight Christmas Eve service, you can imagine how powerful this could be in the world. As the candles are lit in the dark sanctuary, total darkness gradually turns brighter and brighter as each person passes the light to the person next to them until the room is bright from all the candles. What if there were no walls and the light continuously spread from person to person, to every person in the world. I believe this is what Jesus wants us to do.
Dave Barnhart is a senior electrical engineer with R. A Jones Company in Davenport. He and his wife Marci live near Blue Grass with their dog Lucy Lu. They have two grown daughters, Nicole and Stefanie, who now reside in California, and two grandchildren, Axel and Aria.