Jesus, Light of the world, come and sit with me.

Shine your wisdom unto me.

Jesus, Light of my life, come and be still with me.

Direct me in your truth.

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Now when Jesus heard that John was arrested, he went to Galilee. He left Nazareth and settled in Capernaum, which lies alongside the sea in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali. This fulfilled what Isaiah the prophet said:

Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, alongside the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who lived in the dark have seen a great light, and a light has come upon those who lived in the region and in shadow of death.

Matthew 4:12-16

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People who have endured a tragedy together and survived the experience often share a bond for life, no matter the geographical distance between them or the passing of time. There is something quite powerful in a shared group experience, be it a positive or negative one.

In today’s passage, there is a group of people who have a shared experience, and it starts off as a negative one. These people have sat together in darkness, the kind that is described as deep as the shadow of death.

You might even know what that feels like. Life isn’t a walk in the park. There are disappointments, betrayals, losses, and marks of sin in every corner of life. Sitting in the shadow of death is more universal than we might like to admit.

In today’s passage, however, these same people also have an experience of grace. They have seen Jesus, the great Light. That’s a light so great that there is no longer room for even a glimpse of sin and death. That’s the kind of experience I want to share!

Aram Bae

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Light of the world, I confess that it can be routine for me to sit in darkness and sin. Save me from ways that are destructive and without hope. I want to experience the goodness of your mercy and the joy of your everlasting love. Amen.

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Christ my Redeemer, be alive and real in my life.

Christ my Friend, be near and true to your word.

Christ my Light, be honored in what I say and do.

Aram Bae

After ten years in New York City, Rev. Dr. Aram Bae moved to Charlottesville, VA and is the Associate Pastor for Youth & Mission at First Presbyterian Church. Aram continues to teach Christian education courses as an adjunct professor at the New York Theological Seminary, but does so remotely. In addition to her passion for youth ministry, there is nothing she loves more than a (large) plate of fried chicken, barbecue ribs, and collard greens. Cornbread sweetens the pot, too.

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