“All that glitters is not gold.” Stop. Take a breath. Tune out the shiny distractions all around you.

Take this moment to turn toward the Light of Christ.

Jesus shines each and every day — all we have to do is pause and see.

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From the rising of the sun to where it sets, God, the Lord God, speaks, calling out to the earth. From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines brightly. Our God is coming; he won’t keep quiet.

Psalm 50:1-3a

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“When God began to create the heavens and the earth — the earth was without shape or form, it was dark over the deep sea, and God’s wind swept over the waters — God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And so light appeared.” (Genesis 1:1-3)

“In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

“Within our darkest night, you kindle the fire that never dies away....”  (Jacques Berthier, Taizé)

God speaks us into being, just as God spoke the world into being. God speaks and summons us at the dawn of each day, through the darkness of the night, and at the rise of the the next morning’s sun. God calls birds and bumblebees, rivers and ravines, mountains and mud puddles into existence. God is not deterred by the darkness. God shines forth. Our God arrives even in the stillness of night and speaks us into being once again.

Caela Simmons Wood

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God-Who-Shines-Forth, you are a miracle. The light that comes each day is a miracle. The sun, moon, and stars that are kindled in my soul are a miracle. Thank you for never leaving me alone in the dark. That you for shining in glory. Amen.

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Renewed, restored, refreshed, refocused on the Light of Christ — that’s you! Now it’s time to go forth and let your re-kindled light shine for all to see.

You’ve got this.

Go, let it shine!

Caela Simmons Wood

Rev. Caela Simmons Wood serves as the pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Manhattan, KS. Caela is passionate about examining and dismantling systems of injustice, especially those related to race, gender identity, sexuality, and poverty. Caela lives with her husband (whom she met in youth group!), two sons, dog, and five hens (eggs!).

What a Friend we Have in Jesus

Carter Harrell

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