Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It is dangerous out there.

Dear Amy,

CS Lewis, (in Mere Christianity) said "We live in enemy occupied territory." How true!

I want to encourage you and others in pastoral leadership these days. Already the forces of darkness are assembling to threaten the bold confidence unleashed just a week ago. Already the marketers are singing the siren song that says that all that was given in Christ is not enough -- that there are more effective ways to meet our needs than the simplicity (and eloquence) of God's word.

As we move through these last days of Christmas, let's continue to proclaim clearly and boldly that Christ IS the light of the world. Always was, always will be -- words that speak of the timelessness of God's love. But it is the "IS" that folks these days need to hear, I think.

Please, please remember that. It is far too tempting to incline our ear towards the amplifying voices that this or that resolution, this or that new and improved for 2012 methodology will make us more contented or complete.

Tell me, friend, what are you seeing as the predominant force these days? Where do you see darkness? Where do you see light?

In Christ's love and light I hold you...


Dear Pamela,

Thank you for that important reminder that Christ IS the light of this world.  The one who WAS, IS and IS TO COME.  

Dear friend, if I am honest with you and with myself, I always seem to wrestle with darkness around this time of year.  Even though each day is getting incrementally longer as we move toward Spring, the darkness often seeks to envelop me in its death grip.  I struggle with my thoughts, desires, and ennui.  Normally I'm a happy person who laughs easily, but the laughter doesn't always come so quickly in these dark days.  That in and of itself generally causes me some disturbance.  Not only that, but I am expected to be upbeat and joyful so a darker facade often is disconcerting to others.  It may even create anxiety in others who aren't sure "how to handle" me.  It can be a dangerous time for me I suppose.  So your reminder to cling to Christ does not fall on deaf ears.

I see darkness in other places around me, not just inside of me.  With being sequestered indoors I see my own children relying on "screens" to entertain them.  This seems to create a lack of sharpness in their thinking and a laziness in their moving.  So I follow them around and insist that they read books, practice piano, study for the spelling bee etc.  Is it any different for us adults?  Too much screen time leads to lazy-brain, and restlessness with a side of angst.  

I see light occasionally trying to stream through into human life these days.  It is fleeting however and seems to be way off in the distance.  It is a sign of hope, however, and a little bit of hope is often all we need to keep going.  An awareness of the dangers out there can serve to keep us on our toes. . . seeking refuge in the light of Christ.  

Thank you for holding me in your prayers and I promise to do the same,


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