Submitted by Emily Garner: Co-Lay Leader
Shining the Light
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
I am blessed beyond measure. And this is not because of anything I have done. I am blessed beyond measure because of who God is -- the One who loves unconditionally and offers grace to all; and because of who I am in Him – a child of the living, loving God. I am blessed beyond measure because God is good, all the time; all the time, God is good!
I am grateful for so much in my life and I enjoy the “exercise” of reflecting on the many and varied ways God has blessed me. The one blessing that always rises to the top is the blessing of the people God has placed in my life for almost 7 decades. There are far too many people to list individually, but I will name a few from my past who have gone on “to glory” and yet continue to influence my life in Christ. Each one of these “people blessings” have one characteristic in common – and that one characteristic is that each of these dear people shined the light of Jesus for all to see and to bring honor to God. Because each one was focused on shining the light of Jesus, I know Jesus far better than I might have known Him. Because of the transforming work God did through each one of them, I am a different person today. I give thanks to God for these saints!
Mrs. Leila – my 4-year-old Sunday School teacher who introduced me to the love of Jesus
My paternal grandmother – who owned little yet lived every day in the joy of the Lord
My mother – who made sure I got to Sunday School and church worship throughout my childhood
Mr. David and Mrs. Frances – volunteers with our church youth who modeled sacrificial servanthood
Martha Ann Sisson – who guided me to a new understanding of my salvation through Christ
Joan and Bill Winter – who constantly gifted my growing family with their generous hospitality
Reba Southwell – who instilled in me a love for studying the Word
Francis Wilson – who enlightened me to the joy of resurrection the Easter after my mother passed away
Ethelyn Hays – who encouraged me to take my prayer life to a deeper level
Nancy Rutland – who truly loved me as her own and mentored me to reach higher and higher for the things that really matter
Deidre Lee – my amazing big sister who demonstrated courage and strength in the midst of trials
Bethany Reid – whose example of love for all children never waned
Wendy Pierce – who modeled the grace of Jesus
For these saints and for so many more, I give you thanks, loving Father. May Your light shine through me so that Your people more clearly see and know the transforming love and grace of Jesus. Amen.