“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Today is what they call “Ground Hog’s Day”. It’s a rather silly tradition here in the United States that commemorates a rodent and makes this ground hog a meteorologist for the day. It is said that if this rodent sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. It’s a big thing in Punxsutawney PA, as they celebrate and put cameras on this animal that looks somewhat shocked at the attention it is getting. But the real hope in this celebration is that we as people will finally see light at the end of this tunnel that is the season of winter. Many people struggle with winter blues and most just hate the cold weather typically found in the winter months, and so they place their hopes on this silly event known as Ground Hog’s day. All for a little bit of light and a whole lot more warmth.
In reality we all want more light. Winters are okay, even great for many winter recreational sports people, but these months often serve to remind us of dormancy and the hope of new life in the spring. In a very real sense, Christ came so that we could come out of the darkness of sin and death and into the light and warmth of new life! Once we have accepted this new life and light, our calling then is to become that very light for others, who are still in the dark, to see. Our light can shine, but we have to be willing to carry this flame of hope to those around us. The words we choose to say, the actions we choose to do – it all matters! How we conduct ourselves matters! We do not need Christians who only utter truths of the gospel, we need Christians who will live them and practice them. We are called to BE holy, and then do that holiness. It begins by embracing the light, coming out of the shadows and becoming a vessel of peace, love, grace and compassion. Our world needs less hate and judgment and more peace, compassion and love! Can we shine so that the world around us no longer lives in the shadows? Perhaps like Punxsutawney Phil (as silly as it is) we can shine so that others might not see their shadows anymore. The shadows of sin and hurt have held many for ransom for far too long! May we shine and do these good things so that others might find this hope that we all embrace.
Prayer: Lord show me what it means to shine for you. Help me to see those who are struggling today, give me discernment and the things to say. I ask for your wisdom and guidance in this day. May I truly be an instrument of your peace, hope and love in this world today! In your name I pray all of these things. -Amen.