Isaiah 60:1 – Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. (NRSV)
Matthew 5:16 – In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. (NRSV)
As I walked into our church office, a small Christmas tree caught my eye. The women of our congregation had made it at their annual Christmas craft gathering. This one was special, however. They had used entirely recycled materials.
The tree had been made from a branch of an old plastic tree no longer needed. Blown out Christmas tree light bulbs had been turned into mischievous looking elves. Old clothespins had become angels. It was a delightful little decoration to brighten the end of the office counter.
How like our faith, I thought. In a sense, we are all recycled materials. God has filled the world with the glorious light of self-giving love in Jesus Christ. When we turn in repentance to that light, the glory of the Lord recycles us from the dark ways of our sin. We then begin to reflect the glow that God's grace provides, and the risen Christ can be seen again in the darkened world around us.
Thanks be to God!
Prayer: Gracious God, source of the life that is the life of all people, the light which the darkness has never overcome, let that light so shine in us, that others may see the way to eternal life. Amen.