September 5, 2019
At the entrance to our neighborhood, there are four lighted posts – two on each side of the street. In recent weeks, someone drove into one of them and knocked it down. When I drive past this broken lamppost on my way to the church campus each morning, the light is still shining. It has been knocked down but has not given up doing what it is designed to do – give light – because it is connected to the power source.
This reminds me of a statement the Apostle Paul made in his letter to the church at Corinth (II Corinthians 4:6-10). He talks about the challenges of life and ministry for servants of Jesus. The assignment is to follow Jesus, Who is Light shining out of darkness. He shines through our life.
To help us remember that we are frail humans, Paul continues: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves.” In honesty, he admits to feelings of being afflicted (but not crushed), perplexed (but not despairing), persecuted (but not forsaken), struck down (but not destroyed), “always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
That broken lamppost has been “struck down but not destroyed.” Its assignment is to give light during the dark hours of the night, and it refuses to quit. With Paul, we who follow Jesus have times when we feel limited in our usefulness. Life gives us challenges like illness, financial concerns, relationship issues, death of a loved one – the list goes on. We must continue to let our light shine regardless of our experience. Connected to the Source of power, we can do this.
I am sorry for the broken lamppost. Someone will repair it eventually and it will stand again. I am grateful for the daily reminder of the importance – and the joy – that comes with being faithful to our assignment to live a pure life through which the Light of Christ shines in this dark world.
Pastor Bill Ehmann