[#pictureLent] March 1: DARKNESS

By Jessica Istre
New Covenant United Methodist Church/Children and Family Ministry
The Villages, FL


First, read Isaiah 9:2a

I don’t know if you have ever gotten up in the pitch black darkness of the middle of the night for a bathroom break, to stumble around for your glass of water, to soothe a fussing child, or maybe just for a midnight snack, or possibly all of the above, and collided with a wall; but if you have, you know how unpleasant that can be. 

Isn’t that just like being trapped in the darkness of despair, hate, or hurt?  That instant of pain and panic that arises from a solid wall that, by all accounts, hasn’t moved and has always been there can be excruciating.  

What do we do to avoid such instances?  We add light, of course.  A nightlight, a candle, or a lamp to help guide us around the hurdles of laundry, books, toys, and furniture. 

When Isaiah prophesies about the birth of Jesus, he offers a beacon of shining hope for the people walking in darkness.  He assured the people of the hope and joy found in the great light of salvation.  

All you have to do is turn on the news to see, just as during the time of Isaiah’s prophesy, we are surrounded by the darkness of ignorance, hate, and despair.  

Yet, in the world, aren’t we called to be the light so that others can find their way to the Great Light?

In thinking and praying about what to do during this Lenten season to show Christ’s love to others, I am repeatedly reminded of the lyrics of a song I often sing with my little ones: this little light of mine; I’m goin’-a let it shine.  Even though these lyrics are so simple, they are profound.  We must allow our light to shine through the darkness, just like the nightlight to keep us from stumbling in the midnight hours, so that we can help spread hope to a dark and hurting world.

I encourage you to join me in shining His light, whether it be through a kind word, volunteering in your community, or simply giving a smile to the person passing you in the doorway of the grocery store.  We may be the only bright spot in a person’s life today. 

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for being the beacon of hope that we so desperately need. Please guide us in becoming more like You and expressing Your love to everyone around us. Provide us opportunity to shine Your light into someone’s life today. Amen.  

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

1.  How do you make a personal effort to touch someone’s life each day?
2.  Do you make yourself open to being led by the Holy Spirit to minister to someone in need? 
3. What simple acts have been bright spots in your life?