At church today (and at the other services over the weekend), we welcomed 100 more new followers of Christ into God’s family through water baptisms. For some reason (probably something to do with God), a couple years ago, whenever people were being baptized, I would say this simple prayer for each person:
Father, let him/her be a light in the darkness.
Or even, more simply:
Another light in the darkness.
So there I was today during our baptisms, whispering that prayer for each person as they rose up out of the water, and tears started rolling down my cheeks. I don’t know where they came from. I mean, I didn’t know any of these new brothers and sisters in Christ. Why would tears flow today?
100 more lights in the darkness.
Any one or all of the Holy Trinity could easily create enough light to illuminate the earth brighter than all the sports stadiums in the world combined. But they don’t. Instead they choose individuals to be their light in the darkness. You, me, your neighbor, that odd person at work, the lady ringing up your groceries.
We are, each one of us who call Jesus Lord and Savior, holding a dim, flickering candle.
We may not provide much light on our own–maybe just enough to illuminate the path for your child or parent or friend or sibling who is struggling.
But what about when our lights join together? Last weekend, for the Good Friday service, they gave each of us a candle and dimmed the lights. Even though we have a huge sanctuary, it set the place aglow when a thousand points of light combined together to overcome the darkness.
And when you put the 2.5 billion of us believers on the planet today together, we can and should shine light into the darkest corners of the world. That’s just the way God works. Looking around in the world today, it might be easy to think the evil one is winning–he seems to have control of so many famous individuals, so many countries and leaders, people lurking in the shadows thinking the light can’t reach them.
But this is how Love and Light will win: by each of us being enough Light in the darkness that there is no escaping it.
OK, one last cool thing to mention, another little God coincidence that may not be a coincidence at all. The song the praise band was playing during the baptisms was “Way Maker.” And here are the lyrics for the chorus, which we reached just as the first new believer arose from the waters of baptism:
“Way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper, light in the darkness, my God, that is who you are.From “Way Maker” (emphasis added), written by female Nigerian songwriter, Osinachi Okoro, stage name Sinach
We got to “light in the darkness” just as I was saying that prayer for the first new family member. I think that’s when the tears came, and I think I know who they came from.