Each month we’ll be hearing from one of our Regional Ministers, to encourage us along the way as we continue empowering missional disciples in our communities across the West of England.

‘But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.’

After the challenges of the past few years, it would be easy to feel dizzyingly disorientated as we find ourselves in what can seem like a strange new land. The ‘lights’ that used to guide us as God’s people/as his church seem to have blown out and we feel as though we are stumbling about in the darkness or, worse, losing our way. Jesus offers an alternative.

He calls upon us individually and collectively to return to our first love. He is there waiting for us to turn our gaze away from the darkness; away from that which so easily entangles and to turn instead toward his glorious light – a light that will never go out!!

Yet, when the lights have been fading for so long, a shaft of light can seem almost blinding. It may take a while for our eyes to adjust, and in our discomfort, we may be tempted to turn away – for his glory does burn brightly!

I pray that we might have the courage, amidst the discomfort, to open our eyes wider and wider as we fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author and pioneer of our faith. As we do so, we can be certain the Holy Spirit will enable us to see things in new and perhaps unexpected ways.

The light of Christ will illuminate our way. Sometimes it will show us hidden dangers, obstacles, and things that frustrate God’s plans. Other times it will focus on an area of life where the Spirit wants to bring change, restoration, or healing.

As those seeking to follow the light of the world, staying in the dark is not an option. To go back to how things once were would be to return to a false reality and one that will never lead to the abundance of life that Jesus offers.

That fullness of life can only start to be realised when we choose to increasingly orientate our lives towards Jesus. Let’s pray for one another during this advent season asking the Spirit to open the ‘eyes of our heart’ so that together as God’s people in Webnet we can embrace the adventure, life, joy and colour that is found in Christ alone.

As we do so, we will find that we will increasingly reflect something of Christ’s light life and joy into a world that so desperately needs it! And so, in the words of that great old hymn ‘O Breath of Life’ let us cry out…..

‘Revive us Lord, the world is waiting
Equip your church to spread your light!’
(Bessie Porter Head, 1920)

Matthew 5:13-16 (The Message)
‘You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.’

Lindsay Caplen
Regional Minister