The Light Shines in the Darkness
Pastor Jonathan Burt, November 2015
“Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”
(2 Corinthians 4:1–7 NKJV)
As I came into Enterprise on Sabbath, October 31, the first thing that greeted my eyes as I came down Bridge Street was a yard decorated for Halloween. As I looked at the yard, I could not help feeling that it epitomized everything that Satan has tried to do to saturate our society with his demonic messages. The god of this age has truly been blinding the minds of people all over the world through making his messages so common that they are simply accepted without thought.
But this Halloween was different! On this day I saw “the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness” shining in Enterprise and Abilene. He was shining in the faces of children as they shared the cards that they had made with the residents of the Enterprises Estates nursing home along with songs and treats. He was shining in the smiles of church members who went door to door throughout Enterprise delivering bread and the love of Christ. It shone clearly in the groups that went to the police, firemen and hospital sharing cookies, thank you notes and get well cards as appropriate to the various circumstances. It was demonstrated in the willing hands that served to make cards and prepare care packages for the prisoners that we correspond with and visit. It was seen in the program that was put on for the children of the church and community of Enterprise and it was also seen in the prisons that were visited and the prisoners ministered to in the afternoon. It was seen as well in the warmth and fellowship of the people of God as we shared the experiences of what God had done throughout the day. As I reflect on everything that happened during the experience of this Ministry Sabbath I am humbled to recognize that it was “God who works in us both to will and to do His good pleasure.” I am overjoyed just thinking about the way in which God could take a day that Satan has, for many years, claimed as his personal property and saturate it with the love of God. Let us commit ourselves this new month to seeking each day to have the love of God shining in our hearts that "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” may be given to every person that we encounter in this journey of life that we are on.