“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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God calls out to the skies above and to the earth in order to judge his people: “Bring my faithful to me, those who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” The skies proclaim his righteousness because God himself is the judge. Selah

Psalm 50:4-6

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Here’s the thing about light: it makes a terrible hiding place. When there are things about ourselves we’d rather not have anyone notice, we put those things in the dark. We hide them away. We camouflage and distract. The last thing we want is a big, bright light shining on our failures and announcing them to the world.

How can judgment ever be good news? Why do these ancient writers seem to get excited about God bringing our failures and deficiencies to the light? What’s so great about remembering that God is a judge?

I think it has something to do with this: whether something exists in the light or the dark, it is real. We can hide it, ignore it, tuck it away in the darkness, but it’s still there. Still real. Only in the light can we see what we’re dealing with. Only in the light can we begin to solve the puzzle, heal the wounds. In God’s light we can grow.

Caela Simmons Wood

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God of Justice, can you help me sit in the light? Can you teach me how to sit with the discomfort of my flaws and failures? Can you love me through my growing pains? I believe you can. Help my unbelief. 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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