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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Burn, Baby, Burn



I was driving home for Thanksgiving. I had made it over the snowy mountain pass, but as I headed down the mountain, the darkness seemed darker than it should have been.

It didn’t take long for me to figure out that the darkness wasn’t any darker than normal, but the lights in the 1970s Chevy Luv Pickup, that I inherited from Grandpa Marvin when he got a new car, were growing dimmer by the mile.

I’m not very engine savvy, but even I knew there was a problem. By this time it was 8:00 pm on Thanksgiving Eve, and I was coasting into the little town of Sisters. What was the likelihood of getting any help at this point?

In the news today, France is reeling from the pointless murder of 12 people (two policemen and 10 employees) who had the audacity to satirize the religion of Islam. Australia is coping with the murder of two people in a 16-hour café seizure. In the US, two policemen have been murdered in New York City, and in headlines across the country, murder has run amok.

That’s doesn’t even begin to cover the other craziness becoming part of mainstream culture as our world turns itself inside out and wrong becomes right, and right becomes wrong.

It feels like the darkness is getting darker.

But is it really?

I’m not sure that the things that happen in the darkness are any different now than they’ve ever been.

However, the light is growing dimmer.

The Church (capital C), the only light in the world, is flickering like a fluorescent light with a bad ballast.

The personal holiness that powers our light drains with every decision we make to be “of” the world, not just “in” it. I don’t need to make a list for you to get it. You know the sins I am talking about. 1 John tells us that if we claim to have fellowship with God and yet walk in darkness, we are liars. 

And, it isn’t just the sin we do (which is bad and growing worse), but also our lack of love that condemns us to dwell in darkness. Even in Salem, churches are being picketed – by another church – this weekend, because they choose to love (not condone, just love) all people.

I don’t like driving in the dark. I don’t like living in darkness. The only thing we need to chase the darkness away is for Christians to live and love like Jesus. Radically.

Matthew 5:16 says, “In the same way, let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Let your light shine.