Jesus says “Let your light shine”
BECC Connection Point
Our church family has changed. There are children that some of you have never seen (and they’re standing and walking now). Over the course of the almost year, there are people who went home to be with the Lord. We have a whole new set of regular attenders that some of us have never met face-to-face. And there are faces we haven’t seen in a long time. If anything, I think Bethel Covenant is somewhat accustomed to this. Every summer, there are fewer faces as people enjoy God’s creations in the sun. Every fall, there are new families who have moved to Bethel. Every winter, there are more as people come for a warm cup of coffee and fellowship. Every spring, there’s a hope in the air as we chatter about plans to be out and about. With Bethel life, there are always seasons of ebbs and flows in fellowship. This past year, has just been a season of ebbs and flows. Regardless of your stance on distancing, we have become adjusted to this season.
This past week I have been thinking of our church motto: To be a Light to the YK Delta. I wasn’t around when that motto was selected, but I am going to make an assumption that it is referencing Matthew 5.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (NASB1995)
These are the words of Jesus. He tells us to let our light shine — because our light comes from Him. Our church, despite distancing, has continued to shine the light of Jesus over the city of Bethel and people notice. As a church, we receive many a thank you as we hand out free meals, fill up a jug of water sporadically, hand out Salvation Army food vouchers, keep our doors open, and even from those that worship on Sunday mornings. All despite the distancing.
That’s because there are really two types of distancing and often we misuse those phrases. Pastor Adam introduced this shift in language a month or so ago. Did you catch it?
From the pulpit, he started using the phrase “physical distancing.” We hear “social distancing” everywhere. It’s plastered on signs, announced on media, and become new vocabulary developed over the last year. Although it may seem like a small shift to say physical distancing, in the church world, it is actually colossal (well, from my perspective). Physical distancing is what we often think of – the masks, the lines on the floor keeping us six feet apart, the small social in person gatherings. But we use it interchangeably with social distancing. But the point isn’t too isolate ourselves socially. To never interact with others. The point is to not share germs.
Jesus commands us to shine our light so that He is glorified. Our church and its leadership has striven to do this within the realm of physical distancing. We meet in our cars in a parking lot, but our hearts are joined together in worship. We meet over Zoom and tell each other to unmute as we read the Word of the Lord. We wear our masks and make meals for those that need hope.
Our mission has not changed. There may be a computer screen between us and a mask on our faces, but we are to be a light so that others can see Jesus.
If we truly social distance, our light cannot be seen. If we truly social distance, we have hidden our light. I know that it is easy to say, “No one sees me.” Or to say, “I’m tired of Zoom.” Believe me, I get it. When our service was dropped 15 times on Sunday, it was frustrating. I’m not going to debate that and I’m not going to debate the legality of this realm. I’m not going to debate whether we should do this or not.
But I am going to challenge you to be social – so that your light can shine and so others can see Jesus. Join a life group. We have family friendly groups, AWANA for the kiddos, a parenting online only group, men and women’s groups, a books study on Jesus and the Eskimo. Join us on Sunday. Volunteer for Supper Club. Make a meal for Winter House. Send a text to someone you miss and haven’t seen in a while. Drop off a meal to someone struggling. Mail a card to someone. Have a small praise session about Jesus on FB Messenger. Tell someone that they are a blessing to you. Respond to a comment on Facebook. Come join us on Zoom, even if you call in and never say a word. Sit with us in the Moravian Church parking lot.
If nothing else, be social with God. Be in His word. Read ahead for the upcoming Sunday sermon. Join us in our Bible in a year readings. Regardless of your stance on physical distancing, be social.
Let your light shine because it isn’t your light. It’s His. And this world needs it … then, when Jesus spoke the words and today, when we read the Word.
We don’t keep track of attendance. Jesus doesn’t measure your entrance to Heaven against your Sunday presence. But, we notice when you are missing because we miss you when you aren’t here. Our board and leadership reach out as much as we can. However, it is not the sole responsibility of one board or one pastor to make sure you are socializing with others. That is why we provide multiple services on Sunday, many life group opportunities, and service opportunities. So that you can socialize, whatever your comfort level is. Our church family needs all of its people.
So, go and socialize. Don’t spread your germs, but socialize and shine the light of Jesus. Your church family wants your presence and needs YOU because you are the you-est you.
Hope to see you soon.
Ministry Communications Director
PS. Jesus tells us to shine our light so that others can see Him. We can’t do that if we isolate. Physical distance as appropriate, but keep socializing. Our church has so many chances to fellowship throughout the week and we would love to see you there.