Thursday, September 15
by the Rev. Jennifer Schick
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
1 Peter 2:9
We are God’s own people. Made in the image of God and through our baptism, we have been marked by the cross of Christ and set apart to be a light to others. And our world needs light at this time.
There is too much death, sorrow and heartache in this world. Turn on the evening news or crack open a paper and it seems as though bad news dominates our headlines. Good news seems harder to find.
In our personal lives as well, it is easy to sometimes allow a negative experience to overtake our feelings and play it on repeat, rather than focusing on the good.
Yet we are a people whose Holy scriptures – the Bible – is often called “The Good News”. It is called that not because everything in it is good, or easy, or positive. Instead, it is named that because the stories in the Bible assure us that we worship a God who will be with us in our times of challenge and difficulties and help us to overcome them.
We also are told and believe that we are stronger together than we are on our own. As we sang last week during Communion, we are one body in our one Lord. As he overcame, so shall we.
The local church is an embassy, its members citizens, of the Kingdom of God. We represent to one another – and to the kingdoms of this world – what life under Jesus’ rule looks like.
God connects us and brings us together so that we can shine brighter, encourage one another, and help each other when we are down. When we each bring our individual lights to worship, we shine brighter and become a beacon to our neighbourhood and community about the power of God working in the world.
One of the qualities that mark the kingdom is service as exemplified by Jesus, who stated that “the son of Man came to serve”.
And the book of Ephesians tells us that Christ gave gifts to all his followers to “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ”.
As Christ followers, it is important to put our gifts into action, so that, indeed, our lights can shine, to give hope to others, and to share that good news in Christ.
This coming Sunday, September 18, we will “kick off” our new ministry year. This is the first time in a number of years where we can come back after a summer hiatus and eat and drink and celebrate together.
It is also a time to renew our curiosity about where, and how, God may be calling us to serve, and to let our light shine for others to see.
At the BBQ following the service, ministry leaders are invited to wear “Ask me about” name tags to invoke conversations and discussions about how we each use our gifts and talents for serving the church, and to explore new ways to give.
Hope to see you there.
Holy God, you created the world and said, “Let there be light.” And there was light, and it was good.Jesus, Light of the World, you came into the world so we may have life. In the mystery of God, you call us to be light in the world because life is something to be shared.
Holy Spirit, light within us, you enable our light to shine, and guide us paths of righteousness . You show yourself in friend and neighbour and sustain us in hope.
Life, light and love – you have given us a purpose in the world. May we follow in your ways and have the courage to let our light so shine before others that they may see our good works glorify our God in heaven. Amen.