We are suddenly in a new world that is seeming darker and darker with each new day as the coronavirus spreads, infecting and killing innocent people in its wake. When it hits home by taking down someone you love, how do you possibly stay positive and hopeful? And yet that’s what God calls us to do.
It has only been a few weeks that COVID-19 has been impacting us here in the US and already we are growing weary of it all…like the people who followed Jesus up onto the mountain, looking for some ray of hope. On his Sermon on the Mount, right after Jesus calls us to be His disciples, heals the multitudes and gives us the Beatitudes, He tells us, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:14-16)
In this time of Lent, when with each new day we get more dire news, how do we keep our light shining…when sometimes we just want to crawl back under the covers? I believe one way is to follow the other guidance Jesus gave us…not to worry or be anxious, not to be afraid is a great start. (Read Matt. 6:24-34) Jesus actually instructs us what to do (or what not to do): not to worry about money (ie., focus on our spiritual health, do the best we can with the work in front of us and have faith God has a plan); not to worry about having enough to eat (ie., don’t hoard stuff from the grocery store); not to worry about tomorrow (because that takes away from today and will only make things worse); and to keep building the Kingdom, to keep being the light in the darkness of the world. He doesn’t deny the world can and will be dark at times. He just says continue to be the light.
When I read Scriptures, I always ask, “BUT HOW?” What does that mean for me?? And if I pray and meditate on it long enough, I get the answer. But my answer is different from your answer of course. For me, I have my writing and my words, so I believe God wants me to fulfill the Lenten promise I made to write His word through my next novel and through my blog post right now and to do the work in front of me (for me it’s book coaching and editing). I also need to be a light, as Jesus says, “to everyone in the house”…to the people who live with me (my husband and stepson)…to be present, kind, loving and forgiving to those people in my life right here and now. Maybe we can’t reach the world but we can start by reaching out to our little part of the world…perhaps send a letter, make a phone call, share a smile or laugh, say a prayer with someone…be a ray of light.
Dear Lord, please help me to be a ray of light to the world…to not grow weary or dim or try to hide but to keep shining your hope to others.