I Am the Light of the World
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
The winter that is coming will be unlike any we have experienced. There will be the usual cold, sleet, snow and ice, and days that seem endless because of pale sunlight. But the pandemic has made many of winter’s usual compensations risky: holiday parties, travel, restaurant meals, movie nights with friends. Even the distanced outdoor meet-ups that have sustained many friendships will be sidelined by the cold.
We need a plan for the days ahead. It’s tempting to just hunker down, hibernate and view the coming months merely as a time to be gotten through. But this is not God-pleasing.
What we need is a whole lot of Jesus! He has promised us: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” It is Jesus who will brighten our days and remind us that each day is still a gift, to be enjoyed and used to God’s glory.
The way we get a whole lot of Jesus is to spend more time with him: Pray more. Give thanks for every good thing that happened this day, however small. Read and study the Bible.
And do not neglect to reflect the light of Christ to others! As we hear in the sacrament of Baptism during worship at Sheridan, we are to let our light shine before others so they may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven.
Ask yourself each morning, “How am I going to shine today?” Perhaps you will call someone who lives alone or send an encouraging note or email. Maybe you will give money or goods to the Barnabas Community or a pandemic-focused charity. There might be a volunteer job you can do safely. Or you might see a need and fill it. Whatever you do, it will shift your focus away from what you can’t do to what you can: you can choose to live to God’s glory even – or especially – in this strange time.
Jesus, Light of the world, help me seek your light and reflect it so I do not walk in darkness during this winter season. Amen.
Written by Cheryl Stubbendieck
Cheryl Stubbendieck is a member of Sheridan’s Devotion Writing Team. She was the public relations department head for Nebraska Farm Bureau before retiring in 2012. She and her husband Jim are the editors of a quarterly journal about antique side-by-side shotguns and Cheryl is the co-leader of Sheridan’s new Card Makers group. Their family includes their son Aaron and his wife Chaitra of San Francisco, CA, and their son Reed of Madison, WI.