Sentinels For Christ :: An Eye For 2019

An Eye For 2019

Posted by jimgrier on January 11, 2019

My husband and I are soon to be empty-nesters!  With our beautiful daughter preparing for her March wedding, Christmas, 2018, was extra special for our family.  It was our first Christmas together with our soon to be son-in-love!  The holiday’s harmonies still resound with echoes of Christmas all too soon past.

In anticipation of our newest family member, visions of a Norman Rockwell Christmas began dancing in my head by early November.  And as every holiday season seemingly goes by all too quickly, this year I decided to enhance the holidays and take the time to turn our great room into a Christmas Wonderland!  This was easier said than done since my great room looked more like a storage locker. There was lots of hauling, re-organizing, and cleaning until at last it was time for the frosting on the cake:  Christmas decorations!

This year we coordinated our schedules and planned to adorn our tree on Thanksgiving Day.  So after the sumptuous feasting, the family, stuffed like a gaggle of holiday turkeys, gathered downstairs only to discover the great room decked with holiday wonder, complete with a Christmas train rolling down the tracks at the base!  The perfect backdrop for creating new memories as we decorated the family Christmas tree together!

When I turned around, Christmas had arrived! We gathered around the tree in our pajamas for the early morning festivities!  Ripping through gifts. Sipping chilled eggnog. Crunching candy canes.  I remember the excitement building as loved ones were opening the gifts that I just KNEW they were going to love!

But the romances of the holidays were also challenged with extended family and friends not always dancing the “sugar plum waltz” with me in time.  I never cease to be amazed by others who show no interest or even refusal to do things my way and in my time.  My perfect holiday picture could have been ruined if I had let it. How easy it would have been to have allowed my heart to say, “How can they be so thoughtless, so rude, so inconsiderate?? Can’t they see how much time and energy I’ve invested to bless them??  Don’t they care??  Don’t they see??” 

For some of us, it’s more than just “not dancing the sugar plum dance”;  Perhaps it’s the ruining of a holiday festivity with caustic words, broken promises, or physical stings from a family assailant, wreaking catastrophic results.

In the midst of these disappointments and devastations, I’m remembering the words of Jesus in Luke 11:33-36.

“No one when he has lit a lamp puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lamp stand, that those who come in may see the light. The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”

As God’s very own children, we are imitators of our Father (Ephesians 5:1-2). Our Father is Light, and so we are called also to be lights in a dark place (1 John 1:5; Mt 5:14-16). Without this Light, how will the lost find their way??  The last thing we would want is to have our light snuffed out in darkness.

“The lamp of the body is the eye.”  What does this mean?  And how can our light become darkened?  Or how can our light become brighter?   Our bodies are containers.  As believers, we are containers of God’s Light.  Therefore, our bodies will be filled more or less with God’s Light contingent on our perspective, how we see people.

“When your eye is good, the whole body is filled with light.”  When we have God’s perspective, we are filled with Light and can be a warm fire to those around us, a fire that others like to gather around and warm themselves by, as well as the Light that lights the path for those who are lost.  We know God is good; Everything He does flows from His goodness (Mark 10:18).  So as imitators of God, we too are called to see with a “good eye”, to see and believe the best in people rather than the worst.   And in doing so, we will be filled with light that draws people in and shows them the way.

“When your eye is bad, your body is full of darkness.”   A “bad eye”, is a Godless perspective, a fault-finding, critical, judgmental perspective such as, “They would never… I can trust them to… How could they…?  Why can’t they just…? They are just too… If they would only…”.   But with God’s perspective, we shine with the light of Truth and Love saying, “Thank you so much!  You can do this!  How thoughtful!  You are so amazing!  It’s forgiven!  We are honored that you could come!  I’d be happy to!”   In Christ, there is no “us and them”; There is just “us”.  When we love with agape, we include others, and we free others to be loved where they are at in their journey, putting no demands on them, but rather putting the demands on God.  Our mandate is not to try and change others because they are broken—We cannot even change ourselves.  God changes people.  God restores.  Our mandate is to simply be the light of love that lights and warms the paths of others.

Let’s look at others with a “good eye” in 2019, a good perspective from the eyes of our hearts.  Let’s see the good in people, especially those who are lost and hurting.  Let’s see them as God sees them:  created in His image, created good.  Let’s call out the GOLD in others.  Let’s see the good in people, the good that they themselves cannot yet see.

Let’s let our light shine more and more brightly! When we do this, we are extending the creative force of God:  His Light. We are not creating work for ourselves, we are creating memories!  So let’s decorate!  Let’s bake!  Let’s serve!  Let’s build!  We are not wasting our time, even if it’s never seen or appreciated by the recipients.  We are stoking a fire! Our loving gifts are invitations into the love of God, a culture of love that transforms all who are warmed by it!  Now let’s shine!  “Let there be Light!” (Genesis 1:3)

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