Mount Calvary Family & Friends,
Jesus said, “I Am the Light of the world. The one who follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
Light is a necessity to life. Darkness is a necessity to growth. Just a little junior high biology, if I remember it correctly, may help illustrate those thoughts. Plants thrive on light; it is the driving force of photosynthesis. But the same light that provides energy and sustains life kills the growth tip. That’s why the plant grows toward the light it needs, the dying side of the tip causes it to lean in its direction. Growth comes only in the darkness. The plant needs both darkness and light to grow. Constant light may leave a plant strong and healthy, but unable to grow. Constant darkness will leave a plant pale, sickly, and ultimately, dead.
People also need a little “darkness” in their lives to grow. It is facing challenges that lead to growth as we see that we do indeed have the resources to “deal with” the issues life throws at us. Between the gifts God has given us and the gifts God has given others He brings into our lives, we discover new strengths and grow in our relationship with God. . . . Unless we fail to see the “light” God brings into our lives, then our faith too will weaken, fail to thrive, and ultimately, may even die.
In order to grow stronger through adversity and the challenges life offers us, we too need to “bend toward the Light.” Jesus is the “Light” toward which we need to “bend”. We need to see God’s presence and work in our lives. We can see that “Light” when we spend time in God’s Word, the Bible. We can see that “Light” in unexpected ways when we are surprised by unanticipated resources or opportunities that enable us to overcome. We can often see that “Light” and its source most readily in God’s people who come to our aid.
It has been amazing to see how God’s people have come together and discovered new gifts or learned new skills that have brought us success thus far in our Camp Restore efforts. Every time it seems as though dark shadows are rising and threatening our efforts, something or someone is raised up by God to enable our forward movement. I’ve been surprised by people in City Government who have applauded our efforts and offered helpful advice on the best path forward (imagine, people from the government who really are there to help!. . . although I suspect that really is the goal far more often than we realize). I’ve seen it in financial gifts to help and assist our movement forward (we recently received an unexpected $1,500 gift to assist in our loan payment for Camp Restore, and that’s just the most recent example). I’ve seen the people of Mount Calvary rise up to lead tasks I am confident they would have baulked at just a year or two ago. . . God has indeed been shedding His gracious “Light” on our little enterprise. May He continue to guide and bless us as we move forward!
While I am at it, it would be remiss of me not to note, with thanks, the “Light” of God’s love in Christ Jesus shed into our personal lives as many of you have supported Lori and me through the loss of her Mom, and now her Dad. Your gracious understanding and support for the Sundays I had to miss, the cards we received, the presence of many of you at their visitations and at her Mom and Dad’s personal Easter celebrations at Saint Mark Lutheran were all deeply appreciated. We cannot thank you enough.
I need to thank you as well for remembering us with individual gifts and a gift from the congregation over the Christmas season. We both deeply appreciate the personal support you have shown for Lori and me.
May God grant you amazing blessings through this New Year!
About The Author
Since 2015, Pastor John Carrier has been Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church's pastor in Detroit, Michigan. He is also the Director for Camp Restore Detroit. Mt. Calvary has a bi-monthly newsletter, which opens with words from Pastor Carrier, called "From The Pastor's Desk..."