It is you who light my lamp;
the Lord, my God, lights up my darkness. (Psalms 18:28)
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path. (Psalms 119:105)
When contemporary Christians talk about Jesus being the “light of the world,” or that “the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light,” they usually mean that the greatness and glory of God outshines any and all shadows and exceeds all difficulties. But sometimes shining a bright light simply reveals a brokenness and critical problems. It is very difficult to solve a problem cloaked in darkness and hidden from sight. In the past few months, light has been shined onto multiple problems. The first problem was overshadowed (in our country) by the second, and the second problem by the third.
Early this year, the harsh realities and long-term implications of our global climate change sent a signal that we must act and act decisively if we want to have any kind of quality future. One metaphor lifted up how humanity was acting as a destructive virus against all creation through mindless and selfish action. Then, corona hit – a non-metaphoric virus threatening every country, state, and nation. A real-life global pandemic cast a cloud of anxiety, despair, disease, and death around the planet as it became clear how unprepared we are for such events. When it felt things could not get worse, the brutal murder of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement officers overshadowed all else, shining a blinding light on the personal and institutional racism in our country.
In three vital, critical, and life-threatening areas of our shared existence, light has dispelled the obfuscating darkness. What will we do about it? Each one of us individually can do very little, yet we have one small but significant decision to make: to work with others to be part of the solution instead of continuing to contribute to the problems. We can collectively view scientific advancement and medical research as gifts to us from God rather than threats to faith. We can reexamine our unexplored assumptions about “the other” based on race, language, ethnicity, skin hue, education, or economic level. We can keep the light shining on these issues as we pray for global health and wellness, ecological healing, racial harmony and unity, and how our communities of faith might “be doers of the word and not hearers only.” (James 1:22)
God of light, who gives hope to the world and who calls us to do all in our power to be faithful stewards, help us to care as much for each other as we care for ourselves. Let us treasure your whole creation, not only for our own benefit but for all the generations yet to come. Let us reach out to all people as beloved siblings, caring for their health, safety, well-being, and thriving as a sacred trust from you. We pray this as we emerge from our darkness. Amen.
Daily Devotion for June 6, 2020
It is you who light my lamp;