by Kathy Sinclair
Well, the festive season is well and truly behind us, always a bit sad – but there’s plenty of things to look forward to as another year dawns. I wonder if you had time to do some reflecting over the holiday break about last year and the things that you might want to change for the coming year? Did you shine the light on your life? Did you make any NY resolutions?
Jesus came “as the light of the world”. Isaiah had even been prophesied hundreds of years before his birth that “the people walking in darkness would see a great light”. We need light to be able to see and it’s very important to our everyday lives. How could we enjoy the beauty of nature without it? However, light can also be disturbing! Years ago, we were at Disneyland with our young children, enjoying the “Pinocchio Ride”. We entered a dark studio which was beautifully lit with characters and flowers, the ride was quite magical. Unfortunately, there was a sudden emergency with a small fire breaking out – quickly the lights went on– we could see all the shabby staging and chipped paint, it certainly wasn’t magical anymore! We saw things completely differently – actually, as they really were!
Jesus had an amazing ability to shine light into people’s lives, but it wasn’t always comfortable. The woman at the well was enjoying chatting with him, until he turned the conversation in her personal direction – and what about you? What about all these husbands? What needs to change for you? He shone the light into her life, not to humiliate her, but to give her the opportunity to change. It’s the same with the lame man at the pool of Bethesda. He’d been waiting there for years but was never the one to get to the water first. Jesus asks him a seemingly odd and quite insensitive question “Do you want to get well?” Jesus is shining the light on the man’s life, because perhaps after 38 years living off other people’s charity, had he considered it might be easier to stay like that? The darkness can be comfortable – not just for the disabled man – but for you and me! If he was healed his life would be better in many ways, but there would still be difficulty. Jesus knows that coming into the light, is not always easy – but he wants to help us to do it. Sure enough, as soon as the man was healed, he walked straight into trouble with the Pharisees for carrying his mat on the sabbath! But healed, oh, what joy! Jesus always has the wide view.
Jesus invites us to see things in new ways and sometimes it’s not easy to look at what his light exposes! But he wants to work with us to help us grow and change.
As 2023 begins, perhaps we could ask ourselves “How can I see things afresh in the light of Jesus?” Things in the dark corners of our lives, can seem comfortable, or too awkward and challenging, but our lives don’t flourish if we hold onto things in the darkness. Let’s move forward into 2023 committed to walking in the light.
Kathy Sinclair is the BWAA Church Relationship Manager in Western Australia. Kathy joined Baptist World Aid in January 2019. She comes to the role having spent 11-years on staff at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Western Australia, as the Children and Families Pastor. In more recent years, she also held responsibility for overseeing the church’s mission ministry. Kathy has been a speaker for Christian Women Communicating Internationally (CWCI) for several years, where she enjoys the privilege of travelling around Western Australia to teach God’s word. She enjoys visiting church communities to share about the work of Baptist World Aid and how individuals and congregations can respond effectively to God’s heart for the poor and needy. Kathy is married to Mark and has two children and a daughter-in-law.
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