When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." -John 8:12
During our church services, the children gather for a lesson in front of the congregation. The woman who leads this lesson does an excellent job, allowing time for the children to question, to think, and to respond in their own words for all to hear. A recent discussion focused on the idea of light. At one point she asked them, "What happens if you don't have any light?"
"It gets dark," one responded. "You might get really cold," another offered. "You'd bump into a lot of things!" said a third.
Those last spontaneous words spoke to me like no others in the service. We all find ourselves in darkness at times, stumbling around and searching for light. Sometimes we bump into things that hurt us. During these times, we may feel as if we are lost. We may even think that God has abandoned us on our journey.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus calls himself the light, the one who shows us the way to God. Turning to God and asking for help through the shadows will help us find our way. Our good and gracious God is always there, illuminating our lives and igniting the spark in each of us.
"A time to pluck up" - Harvest times comes in the Autumn of life. We draw on the resources we have 'planted', just as we harvest the vegetables from our garden to be put up for "another day". The American Dictionary gives one of it's definitions for 'pluck' as "Resourceful courage and daring in the face of difficulties; spirit."
Matthew 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Loving God, shine your light into our lives so that we may carry that light into the world. Amen.