I was so happy to get to go to a real Christmas service last night. It was beautiful. I didn’t know anyone, and didn’t understand quite all the ceremonies (Advent wreaths would take quite a bit of explaining…) but just getting to go and enjoy the Christmas music was good. Sure, the music was contemporary and that surprised me. But they sang my favorite (Mary Did You Know) and a few others. It was just all around fun, and everyone was very friendly.
The last song, as each of us lit a small candle, was Go Light Your World. Its an older song, and I’ve always liked it. Last night it seemed written specifically for my situation (with church).
I have heard so often that we need to be a light and a witness to those in the world. In all the years I was in church after joining the workforce, though, I rarely had the opportunity to invite anyone to church. And with 15-20 hours of church a week, I certainly didn’t have time to do anything with people who should have been witnessed to. There just wasn’t time. Sure, I went door knocking. I handed out invitation cards. But is this really what being a witness means? When does it say Paul or Peter or Phillip gave them a church invitation and said, “our service is at 10:00 Sunday”?
The Apostles didn’t witness by passing out invitations or tracts. They didn’t door knock. They simply lived. Most of their preaching was done outdoors or one on one. They tried speaking in the synagogues, but they weren’t heard there. So they loved, they gave, they did for others. What better witness could a person have?
Jesus often reached out and touched the person he was healing. Maybe he was giving us a hint. A person must be witnessed to before God can heal their heart. To truly witness, we must reach out to the person. And to reach a person, we first must touch their life in some way. But to touch them, we must spend time among them. If we are too busy with church to help a sick neighbor or to spend time with a child, are we serving church or serving God? Will he say “well done, you’ve got perfect church attendance, you sang in the choir and cleaned the church regularly,” or “well done, thou good and faithful servant. As oft as you’ve done it to one of the least of these, my brethren, you’ve done it unto me.”?
I was afraid to leave church for years partly because I would ask myself what in the world I would do if someone wanted God and I couldn’t take them to church. Yet in years of church attendance, I rarely brought anyone. How can you reach someone you’re too busy to meet, after all? Then too, I’ve often heard that we need to come to church to stay spiritual. I wonder… wouldn’t we actually be more like Jesus if we did what he would do?
Light Your World
Carry your candle
Run to the darkness
Seek out the hopeless, deceived and torn
Hold out your candle
For all to see it
Take your candle and go light your world