Thursday – June 30, 2016: Children of Light

light-of-god

Ephesians 5:6-14

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be associated with them. For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light — for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

We are all children of the light, because we live in the glow of Easter, bathed in the grace of God’s love and forgiveness!

This does not mean that we are perfect or sinless, while there is good in all of us, sometimes it can be hard to see, as our light fails to shine due to the challenge of facing life on life’s terms!  These challenges can leave us feeling stressed, frustrated and worn out.  But this is to be expected, and for that reason we can give ourselves a break, because it is just part of life.

And the good news is that we are forgiven for falling short, because we are all children of God.

Just as God forgives us out of love, we forgive our children, who can sometimes fail to shine, because we love them!  Like us, our children struggle with fears, frustrations and disappointments that they are uncertain of how to handle.  Life is not easy for them, and this can cause them to fall short and find themselves caught up in “…the unfruitful works of darkness”.

Many of us have fallen out of the light, and found ourselves lost in the darkness, some say it is a rite of passage, something we all must face in our lives.  I don’t believe that, but I do accept that it is part of our human experience to face our own demons, one can only hope that our children can be spared this trial.   For those who do fall into this darkness, our prayers can be that they find their way out, and back to the light.   This usually takes some help, from those who have known their own trials, and have been saved through the love that God shares with each of us, both directly and through the people we share our lives with!

As parents, we can be touched by the darkness that can envelope our children, as we feel every bit of torment and struggle that effects them, and it can be very painful watching them slip deeper into the darkness of bad choices from misbehavior at school, trouble with relationships, to falling prey to addictions, and related run-ins with the Police, etc., and knowing there is little we can do for them.  We may even start blame ourselves for not being good enough parents (especially as single parents) and turn our frustrations inward and wind up beating ourselves up…which is not at all helpful.

Yet although we may often feel helpless in the face of this darkness, there is good news, as noted earlier: That we are all well-loved children of God, who does not want us to be lost in the darkness, but has given us the gift of forgiveness and grace to fill our lives with the light of hope!  This hope comes from the great love God has for us…and with this love God has promised never to leave us alone in the dark, even if we are the responsible for getting lost in the first place.

That is the beauty of forgiveness that is grown from a love that cannot be denied or lost.  We have no choice in the matter: God loves us, just as we are and right where we are!  This love, when shared together, can help us to find the light of hope even during the darkest of days.

In the same way, our children also have no choice but to be surrounded by our love for them (even if they say they do not want it).  When we share that love with them, no matter what, there will be hope that they too can find their way out of the darkness, for the love we share with them is a reflection of the love given to all of God’s children!

We are all children of the light, as we all live in the light of the Risen Christ, the light of hope and of new life…the light that has saved us all, and is transforming our world, bringing it from darkness to light.

Let Us Pray:

Dear God, thank you for the gift of your love, given freely through the Resurrected Christ.  We also thank you that we cannot lose this gift, just as our children cannot lose our love.  Please let us remember that your love is given to us both directly and through the compassion of those around us, and let us share this same love with our children and all others who may find themselves lost in darkness.  Please lead us and guide us all towards the light that is transforming our world, into your Kingdom…where the darkness is unknown.

Amen

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