Editor’s Note: With so many churches in our area having to suspend worship services during the coronavirus pandemic, we are asking local pastors to partner with us in bringing a daily message of hope and comfort to readers during this difficult time.
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14)
We are living in challenging and uncertain days. Maybe things have always been that way. I think it’s safe to say that none of us has traveled this way before. When sudden change comes into our lives, we sometimes feel like retreating into the shadows and wait out the storm. It can be tempting to just accept the idea that maybe we are not worthy of ever seeing the light of day again. And gradually we become accustomed to just survive in the dark. But darkness invites fear, and scripture says fear has torment.
Circumstances surrounding this global pandemic and resulting national emergency in our land cultivate a climate that feels so foreign to most of us. We must not allow ourselves to become discouraged or hopeless. As people of faith, it appears to be the ideal time to allow the true light of the world to shine brightly. You see, the reality is that light is not our own, but the Lord within.
Jesus established the church and said the very gates of hell shall never prevail against it. The church is not a building, or earthly structure. You and I, as followers of The Way, are the church. In traditional circles, the people gather and allow their candles to burn inside their sanctuary, behind closed doors. That serves a worthy purpose. However, the light is desperately needed in the dark place of our world. Let’s take advantage of these changing times and allow our individual lights to shine in every place where darkness and fear dwell. It will make a vast difference in how a wondering people view the life and mission of His disciples. The world will see. They will know. It is well with our soul.
The Rev. Will Shewey is pastor of Shades of Grace United Methodist Church in Kingsport.