Celebrating “shining lights”

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.  Each of us has deep cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lit the flame within us.”  – Albert Schweitzer

  • Who is a shining light in your life? 
  • Who is someone who has helped you find your way?
  • Who is a person who rekindled your spark just when you thought that you might never shine again?

I’m going to guess that all of us have at least one story about a person who has been a shining light in our lives. All of us have a person – and perhaps several people – who have offered us hope, encouragement, wisdom, forgiveness, or inspiration.  The season of Epiphany  – the weeks when we especially celebrate the Light shining in the darkness – is an opportunity to give thanks for a person who lit up your life and rekindled your spirit just when you needed it most.

Sometimes that person is someone we have a longstanding relationship with. Or it might be a teacher, coach, neighbor, or boss.  It may even be a stranger whose life briefly intersected with ours but who left a lasting impression.

These “shining lights” are gifts from God.  These weeks of Epiphany are an opportunity to celebrate the many forms that God’s light takes. We rely on the promise that God’s light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never overcome it. Epiphany begins with the star over Bethlehem, inviting any who look up to follow the light to Christ.  The season continues for seven weeks as we celebrate God’s gift to us in Jesus, the “light of the world.”

We are asked to look for that light in others. Who is someone who taught you how to let your light shine?  Who has demonstrated God’s love and light to you – and what did you learn from them? Who is that person who helped you find your path or directed your course?

How has that person’s light encouraged you to let your own light shine? We are asked to share God’s light that dwells within each one of us.

We live in a world that often seems worn and weary, a world that is aching for glimpses of the divine. Let us bask in the glow of gratitude for those who has shared their light with us. And let us dare to share our own light and our own gifts with those around us.  

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify God in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)