“Turning on a light in a room room filled with lit candles surely does not have the same effect as lighting a candle in a room filled with darkness.” These are the words of Jonas, a friend of a friend I had a conversation with last week. We were discussing beach volleyball and how I had decided a couple years back to stop playing ball at Clearwater Beach’s Pier 60 where I got tired of foul language and bad attitude.
As a result, I am now completely out of shape and nearly twenty five pounds over weight which is certainly in contradiction with the word of God that commands me to take care of my body. My issue with keeping in shape is that it often dictates I either take time away from my family or my ministry since I have been unable to find hardcore Christians volleyball or basketball players able to keep up with me, a former college and semi-pro athlete. Jogging, biking or gyms do very little for me since it’s the competition that motivates me rather than the fitness element of sports.
This got me thinking about the bubble I created for with wife Elizabeth, daughter Grace and I. In an effort to protect my family from exposure to the secular world, I have violated an important biblical rule, the call to ministry. While the internet is a great platform to preach from, it is certainly not as interactive as the real world where all disciples of Jesus Christ are to witness and spread the word of God.
In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus said:
“Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” (Matthew 8:11-15)
Then in Mark’s gospel:
“Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.” They went out and preached that people should repent.” (Mark 6:6-12)
And again in Luke:
“And he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.” (Luke 9:2-6)
Does this mean I should get back on the beach where profanity and disrespect are abundant? In essence, it might mean exactly that. The verses above tells us that as Christians, we are responsible for bringing light where there is only darkness. We are called to light candles in rooms where there are often no other source of light.
At home, work or school, while driving, commuting or even at the mall, we are to be examples of the Christian life. While it is important to preach the word of God and witness to those who will listen, Jesus tells us to “shake the dust from our feet” as a testimony against those who will not listen. I don’t recall being such a bright candle way back when at Pier 60, maybe it’s time I hit the beach…
Are you the light in the dark room or more a candle among other candles? If you find yourself surrounded by too many other candles, I invite you to read the verses above and apply the meaning to your lives. Call on us if you cannot find darkness where you can shine the light that is growing within you. I am confident we can help you find a place for your lamp to shine. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your unconditional love
For your forgiveness and your strength,
We thank you for looking after us, our families and friends
And for answering the prayers of those in need.
Lord we pray you will inspire us to spend more time with you
Through prayer and through your Word the bible,
Surrounding ourselves with your wisdom
And believers in your son Jesus Christ.
God please put us to work for you in the days ahead
And fill our hearts with love for one and all,
Lead us to those in need
So we can serve you through them.
Father we pray you will continue to shine your light bright
Upon us and all those around us,
And that you will strengthen us when tempted
So that we may overcome temptation and obey your commands.
God we love you and thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre