close-up photography of person lifting hands

Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash 

Dear Children of Light,

Remember Johnny Bench - the Hall of Fame catcher for the Cincinnati Reds? He was famous for holding seven baseballs in one hand. Try it – unless you have huge hands, you probably can’t. Today Johnny endorses a medicated pain rub where’s he’s asked, “Is it true you can hold seven baseballs?” His response, “I don’t do that anymore,” as he holds seven hamburgers in one hand. As we go through life, there are many things we “don’t do anymore.” And unlike baseballs and hamburgers, it can be a sign of growth.

Paul writes, “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light … and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8,10). He reminds the Ephesians of their former ways, things they “don’t do anymore” because they have come to believe in Jesus, who has transformed them into new people, “Children of Light.” In the past their lives were filled with foolish behavior, unfruitful works of darkness, that ran counter to God’s will. But Paul provides more than advice what not to do. It’s true that he urges “children of light” to “don’t do that anymore.” But he also urges them to be active lights in the world through their actions, “fruit of the light” that exposes the world’s evil in order that the world might become “children of light” who grow to not “do that anymore.”

So, what does being “fruit of the light” shining into the darkness of the world mean? It means living in the world – showing the world – what a “child of light” looks like through words and actions. It doesn’t mean living like a hermit, separated from all that goes on. It means living in the places God puts us. Using the gifts He’s given us. And making the lives God has given us lives of worship by giving Him thanks for all He’s given us and serving one another in reverence to Christ (Ephesians 5:19-21) because “we don’t do that anymore.”

                                                                                    In Christ’s Love,

                                                                                    Pastor Jim