Faith that Works

Teaching middle schoolers how to live and practice their faith

“I am the light of the world.” John 8:12

Right now the world is very dark. We feel alone, anxious, afraid. Some of us have been home for weeks, some for days, and some head out into the darkness each day, performing essential jobs under new and difficult circumstances. As I read the news each day, sometimes despite my best efforts to avoid it, one of my favorite bible verses comes to mind over and over again: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5. No matter how dark it gets, darkness cannot overcome light.

Many of my favorite books as a child focused on this battle between darkness and light- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardobe, The Dark is Rising, A Wrinkle in Time* are just a few of them. In all of these books unlikely heroes need to choose their side- light or dark? The choices look different for everyone- temptation, fear, and exhaustion are all reasons the characters in these books could choose the darker path, but in each, someone reminds them of the light and gives them strength to be the light themselves.

That’s what Jesus wants to do for us. Not only is HE the light of the world, but he also tells us in Matthew 5:14 that we are the light of the world too. He goes on the say that our light should shine before others, that they may see our good deeds and give glory to God. (Matthew 5:16) This is a big expectation that Jesus has for us, and once again, he doesn’t leave us to do it alone. He is the source of the light that we share with others. He is the light of the world.

One of my favorite moments of the Easter vigil is watching the light spread through the darkness of beginning of the service. If you’ve never been there, it’s truly one of the most beautiful moments of the liturgical year. The new Easter candle is lit, and one by one the light is passed from candle to candle until the whole congregation is bathed in warmth and light. That’s what this I am statement makes me think of- light spreading through darkness and cold. People choosing to follow the light of the world instead of being overwhelmed by the darkness in the world. “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”

For today: I will spread light by making a card for someone who is experiencing darkness in their life. I will read stories of people who are being the light in a dark time. I will reread a favorite story of light overcoming darkness.

*the links provided for the novels are affiliate links. This means that if you purchase the book using my link, I receive a small commission at no cost to you.

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