Yesterday we did a great fun Candlemas Party, where we were exploring light and dark themes in the Bible.
I reckon we ought to make learning about Jesus fun, and often when we play and learn we’re often end up going deeper anyway, I love working with kids as it really keeps your theology sharp, I had a wonderful lecturer at college a guy called John Kelly who used to say “To understand something deeply means you can explain it Simply”).
Anyway, we had a game prepared, where we had cut out these ‘glow in the dark luminous star shaped stickers ‘ and stuck them all around the Church, we then turned most of the lights off and had the kids going around with little lights finding these stickers which really shone out brightly in amongst the darkness in the Church building (there is something crazy about how little kids love stickers, and my little girl loves stars especially).
We then shared a little bit about the verse that Paul wrote to the Philippians “Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky” and then explored what it meant to be people that ‘shine out’.
The conversation got really deep, there were some great answers like being people who are kind, told the truth, loved, goodness, brave and stood up for people who were being bullied all great answers. We then explored that Jesus said he was the light of the world (as did Simeon too, see yesterdays post), and thought if Jesus is the light of the world and we are called to be like Jesus and be lights in the world, this means we ought to be like Jesus.
So what was Jesus like? Some answers, he was kind to people other people didn’t like.
Healed the sick.
Cleared the temple (he didn’t like people being ripped off, sold phony religion or have their fears and superstitions exploited).
Liked to Party!
Made friends with people who weren’t like him.
So do we shine out like stars?
Are our lives like Jesus?
Do people see our Churches as being like a city on a hill that can’t be hidden, or do they have no idea where we are, or what we do as we have become a faceless institution which no one knows what we actually do!
Do our work colleagues, neighbours, friends and acquaintances know we are Christians?
Are people perplexed about how and why we live such different lives to them, or do we look exactly like them.
Sometimes, I wonder too, what marks us out as different?
Is it our love for a building?
Is it for the soundness of our doctrine?
Just a mean thought to end with, often I hear people say “I’m a good person” but when you push this a little, they don’t give to charity, help people in trouble, cre and love those around them, and the ‘good person’ thing really often just means “I’m not a murderer or something else horrible”.
Let’s aim higher than this.
A great line from Pete Greig in ‘The Vision’ is “Holiness which makes children laugh and adults angry”.
Let’s live radical lives, shaped by the red letters of scripture (the words of Jesus) living out a life style that the world simply can’t get their head around.
I want to live a life that brings glory to Jesus.
I want to shine out for him in everything I do.
Yet to do this, I need you to help me, and I want to help you do it too.
Let’s work out how we can encourage each other to shine best for Christ on the frontlines he has placed us in.