Believe in the Light

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.[1]

There’s a motion sensor on the light above the door that leads to my church office. Once a week we gather at the church for an early morning Bible Study. It is at this time I take notice of that motion sensor and light. One particular morning last September I arrived at the same time as my friend George. There we stood before the door, with me fumbling to find the key. Before I could find the right key, the light above our heads went out. George waves his hands over his head in the direction of the motion sensor and the light comes back on. Then George gruffly advised me, “Keep moving and the light will stay on.” I turned to him and said, “You know, George that one will preach.” I finally unlocked the door and we headed in and soon started the Bible Study. Later that day I jotted down George’s witticism.  His quip echoed a lesson of Scripture.

In Peter’s first letter he reminds us that God has called us “out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Peter wants us to know that we are a holy people, a people set apart. God has chosen us! Now to be chosen seems to be that we have been rescued, free of whatever threatens us. But there is an underlying understanding in Peter’s passage that can be glossed over and forgotten. Indeed, God has chosen us but we can remain in the dark. God has not yet removed the darkness from our world. This understanding comes through when Peter later urges his readers to abstain from the passions of the flesh, keep your conduct honorable.[2] But there is Good News. We can bring God’s light to shine upon us.

We remain in the darkness until we choose to step into the light of God. We are covered in darkness until we choose to move about under God’s Divine “motion sensor.” Until we make that choice to move about before God, though marked as one of God’s own people, we fumble about in the darkness of this world. Thankfully for my dear friend George, he no longer needs to move about so that “the light will stay on.”

Last Wednesday George died. George dropped by my office that day, like most every Wednesday to share a newspaper and offer a thought. A few hours later George stopped breathing. Some may think that George stopped moving and the light went out. Maybe to this world, however, I believe George no longer needs to move about because he is where God’s light is always shining.

P.S.: George hand delivered hundreds of “Two Minutes to Share” devotionals to those without Internet access. George distributed hundreds of worship service DVD’s to those homebound. All this and George showed up at worship ready to help. In fact, in 2012 George helped us to start a 9am Sunday morning service, Nexus @ Nine. While others don’t move by choice, George was doing all this at 82 years of age. George was a great part of God’s presence in the community. George was moving about and The Light was on! It is with a grateful heart that I believe George has found rest, and no longer need move about, for upon him God’s Light shines eternal. As Jesus said, “Believe in the light.”[3]

[1] 1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)

[2] 1 Peter 2:11-12 (ESV)

[3] John 12:36 (ESV)

About Pastor Steve

Pastor Steve Hodges is an ordained minister, pastoring a church in central Virginia.
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