Greetings to all in the Love of Jesus Christ:
A clarinet. A trombone. A saxophone. A piano. A guitar. A bass. A tuba. And a congregation holding up their index fingers and singing: “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine …” That was the scene at Foothills Christian Church on Sunday morning at their Epiphany Celebration – a celebration with a New Orleans style brass band, gumbo, and king cake.
Photos curtesy of Foothills Christian Church
Epiphany, of course, is the day we celebrate the light of God’s love. In the words of John 1:5: “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” As Christians, we celebrate that we have seen the light of God’s love in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. We celebrate that into a world of darkness, Christ came. We celebrate that no matter how dark the world is, that the light of God’s love shines.
And we also acknowledge that shining light is our responsibility, our calling. “YOU are the light of the world,” Jesus proclaimed. “Let your light shine.” That is our calling. When the world struggles under the dark cloud of violence, we are called to shine God’s light by practicing peace. When the world struggles under the darkness of poverty and hunger and houselessness, we are called to shine God’s light be feed and providing shelter. When the world despairs, we are called to shine the light of God’s hope.
To me, the basic pattern of the Christian light is simple:
- See the light of God’s love shining in the darkness
- Embody God’s love so we can shine it everywhere we go.
My friends, there is indeed a lot of darkness in our world. Perhaps more than ever before, the world needs the church to shine the light of God’s love from our doorsteps to the ends of the earth. Thank you for the many ways you do this. As I travel through Arizona, from congregation to congregation, I am blessed to witness so much light shining. Thanks be to God!
Dios les bendiga!
Regional Minister and President