This weekend I was serving those who serve in the New Mexico Air National Guard, and I was reminded of the power of presence in representing Jesus.
First, I was privileged to attend a Yellow Ribbon event with a group getting ready to deploy down range. This particular group is one with whom I have spent a good amount of time since joining the Guard last May. I spent the day basically "hanging out" with them, listening to their stories and situations, and eventually leading a class later in the day. Many of the airmen expressed appreciation for my presence with them and through my presence God gave opportunities for me to speak truth in ways that brought encouragement.
Second, as I reflected on that day, I thought about the sermon text I had chosen for Sunday: John 8:12. Jesus said, "I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." Along with the recognition that Jesus is the light of the world, I also pointed out that in Matthew 5:14, Jesus also said, "You are the light of the world ..." This teaching is for all who put their full trust in Jesus, believing God's promise fulfilled in Him, and receiving the Holy Spirit. A few verses later, Jesus highlights how our lights shine brightest. "Let your light shine before people, so that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Jesus says our lights shine brightest in what we do. That's particularly relevant to a military community where proselytization is frowned upon, and I believe it is also relevant to each of us living and working in our society today. People will see Jesus in us, and they see Him best in who we are and what we do.
I invite you to reflect on the truth that Jesus is the light of the world, and the related truth that Jesus says "you" are the light of the world, and then share your thoughts as we journey together along the way ...