Matthew 5:14-16 (The Message)
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
God's creation is so beautiful, diverse, and colorful. All creation sings His praises and breathes His name. However, today, my incredibly privileged I-watch reminded me to breathe. And in that moment, I broke. Many of us are broken right now. Many of our homes feel broken right now. Many of our children are feeling broken. The bright, beautiful colors of His creation are being (to put it mildly) undervalued, ignored, and downtrodden. The beautiful colors that God created to shine to reflect HIM cannot breathe.
It's time to give light, breathe NEW life, and empower all of God's colors to shine.
We feel the darkness right now. We are unsettled (once again, to put it mildly). We are grieved. And truly, a lot of us feel put "under a bucket", not knowing how to shine. What difference can we make? How can we fix this?
We give light by bringing truth and living out that truth in our homes.
My heart keeps being drawn to the passage of Ezekiel and the valley of dry bones. What did God ask Ezekiel to prophesy? He asked him to prophesy to the breath. #icantbreathe- is this a call for us to prophesy to the breath so others can breathe?
Our celebration of God's beautiful skin colors breathes new life.
In order to prophesy... to move forward and live, we need to be broken. If we are to rebuild anything, we must be broken. We must weep. We must get on our knees and ask God to heal our land. We must speak up for those who have no voice. We must bind up the brokenhearted.
Our brokenness empowers us to pray, which releases change that only God can do.
I am not going to attempt to go into all the complicated issues and some not so complicated about the times that we are living in. The times we HAVE been living in. But as a children’s pastor, I want to remind you parents, that change starts in our hearts, sets the culture in our homes, which then transforms the communities around us. I have no quick fix solutions, but I do have heart posture changes we need to make a part of our homes. Let's speak truth in our homes about the EVIL, the SIN of racism.
Let's speak truth that we are all image bearers of our creator. We are all designed uniquely and wonderfully. We bring out God's colors in the world.
Let’s have regular conversations in our homes about the value and worth of each individual.
Let’s celebrate the fact that God made us diverse-white, brown, and black and all are beautiful and made in HIS image. Let’s not shield our children from what has been. They have to know so they can bring light to darkness. Let’s empower our children and homes to be like the prophet Isaiah in chapter 61 when he proclaims the year of the Lord‘s favor. But most of all, let’s pray. God is the one who changes hearts and lives. No true change can take place without His life changing grace. We are evil and sin bound, but grace abounds more. We must teach our children to stand up against injustice and inequality … and we do so with divine purpose. We do so because that is what the kingdom of God looks like, sounds like, and acts like. We do so because God loves each and every beautiful member of his creation. We rejoice with those who rejoice, period. We mourn with those who mourn, period. And this is a time that so many of our black brothers and sisters are mourning. We get on our knees and we fight this battle. And we do it as a nuclear family and family of God. And by doing so we bring life back to dry bones and let our brothers and sisters live.
God, let all of YOUR colors SHINE and breathe new life and beauty to the world around us.