Pastor Ralph J. Mineo, St. Luke's Lutheran Church
Imagine that is a room in your soul -- a room with hundreds of gift packages! Some gifts represent those we love, family and friends. Other gift packages represent the talents and qualities God has given us. Still others represent all the wonderful things that happen to us in our lives.
To truly enjoy the gifts in this room, we need LIGHT! The Bible tells us that is "God is light." So when you look at the gift-package room of your soul, you see it the through the light that is God. In such a room there can be no darkness. "God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all." (1 John 1:5)
Two students were discussing some of their frustrations of college dorm life. High on their list was the difficulty of keeping others from eating ice cream they had stored in the refrigerator in their dorm. "I've solved that one," one of them said. "I just wrap my ice cream in a brown paper bag and label it 'Tofu.'" (For those who like Tofu, change the story appropriately!)
In some ways, this is what worldly temptations do to us. THE LIGHT (God) gets wrapped up in a brown paper bag and it gets labeled it as something we won't care to go near. As a result, people shut out the light that is God!
Light versus dark has been a popular theme throughout history. "Star Wars" refers to evil as "the dark side." Christian tradition names the dark side: the devil, the evil one, Satan, etc. Whatever the name we give it, we only live well when we dwell in the light. God is light. In God there is no darkness at all. In God, there is NO EVIL!
We are called to walk in the light, avoiding a life of sin. Oh, we'll have sinful moments, but our lives will not be a demonstration of the "the dark side." Our lives, both individual and the church, need to let the light shine forth!
Here's a 3-step plan to let your light shine:
First, go into the room in your soul with all the gift-packages and dedicate every package to God. Give your life over to God's light, letting this light shine upon everything in your life.
Second, in the gift-package room of your soul, pray. Pray that the devil and the dark side will have no power over you. Pray for those represented in the gift-packages of your soul. Pray for the whole world to live in the light!
Third, commit yourself to let God's light shine through you by the way that you live, by the good you do for others.
Let God light the gift-room of your soul!