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“If we are living in the light, as God is in the light,
then we have fellowship with each other,
and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
You are the light of the world.”
– 1 John 1:7 –
One of the things I love about the Christmas narrative
is not only light, but the very glory of God exploding on the dark canvas of a sin-torn world
. . a star points the way, angelic announcements turn night into day, blinded eyes are opened . .
One is born on a dark, obscure night who is both heralded and self-designated
as The Light of The World, and His name is Jesus . . the One who saves.
His plan defied logic for His mission became our commission . .
His plan? To touch the darkness by putting His light in each of us.
His promise? To never leave us alone.
His pronouncement? To those who turn from sin and self-reliance to Him . .
well, “You are the light of the world”.
His charge? Don’t waste your candle, don’t snuff your wick,
don’t diminish your light.
How do we get our light stuck under a basket?
One way to answer that question is to look through the eyes of those
who just might be on the outside of Christianity looking in … what do they see?
While there may be many other answers,
here are three wick-snuffing, candle-darkening patterns
that far too often obscure the Jesus we claim to follow:
Jesus would simplify this by telling you and I
that we easily forget to “take up our cross and follow Him” (Matthew 16:24)
When we forget to take up our cross by becoming careless with commitments
we risk losing connection with self-denial and instead point to a lifestyle of convenience.
When we forget to take up our cross by fixating on validation to the point of excluding others,
we risk losing connection with the centrality of gratitude
and instead point to our victimization vs.the extravagance of God’s love.
When we forget to take up our cross by becoming drunk with narcissism,
we risk forfeiting loyalty to mission and instead point to a life
whose addiction to our comfort over His calling will almost certainly
reduce us to being little more than . .