Sunday, February 19, 2023

A beacon. . .

It is no secret that things are changing and that the changes reflect a deterioration of the values that we once held dear and which united us beyond the things that divided us.  The culture around is rapidly distancing itself from all that went before and in so doing has created both uncertainty and conflict deeper than just about anything that went before.  We are suffering this not only because of the dispute over the values and direction of our future.  Those who resist are themselves uncertain about what it is that they resist and what to do about it.

Though several options have been spoken of by various churches, the one option that cannot be chosen is for the Church to become invisible.  Though this is the tempting choice for survival, survival is not ours to choose.  God has already promised that the survival of the faith and the Church are His business.  He has not given us the assurance that Christianity will be mighty and evidence from the Old Testament suggests that the faithful are always and ever will be a remnant.  Yet, again, that is not our business.  We cannot ensure the survival of the faith and the Church but God can and will.  Of this, Scripture is clear.  Yet even while persecuted and threatened, the faith and the Church must engage the world.

If, indeed, the lights are going out in the West, the Church must shine ever more brightly as God's lighthouse in the encroaching darkness of despair and its culture of death.  The words of our Lord are clear on this.

13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 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 who is in heaven.  (Matthew 5:13-16)

We shine with the brightness of the one true light and that light was never meant to be protected or shielded but given free course.  The world cannot and will not know that it lives in darkness unless the light shines and shines brightly.  The Church is that lighthouse and Christ is the light that we mirror to the world.  The Church is not the source of the light or that light.  We shine with borrowed light, much as the moon shines with the reflected light of the sun.  That does not diminish us or our vocation.  In fact, it is what gives us stature and purpose.  It is more urgent now than it has been in some time. 

1 comment:

Janis Williams said...

It is terrifically easy to be fearful. I must constantly remind myself that you do not hide a lamp under a basket. If my reflected light is snuffed out, the Source of that Light cannot be. I am His, bought by His Blood, and if I live in this world, I live to Him. If I die, I die only in this life, not in His Eternal Day.