Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: Instruction will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations. Isaiah 51:4 NIV 

Simeon praised God, saying, “My eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” Luke 2:28,30-32

We just spent a week at Vacation Bible School with a theme of “Stellar” all about space and astronauts AND letting Jesus’ light shine! There were and are so many situations where we need to say, along with the kids: “Shine Jesus’ light.” When it seems dark, when we are sad, when we are happy, when conflict happens, when people need help – we can shine Jesus’ light. We learned that some objects, suns and stars, shine light. Other objects, the moon, reflect light.

We just read the Christmas gospel in church last Sunday and here is the portion of Luke that follows. Jesus’ parents present Him at the temple, and Simeon get to see Him. This man has been waiting his whole life to see the salvation that God has promised. Now he praises God because he sees this happening. He sees light that is for all the world – gentiles and people of Israel. All people, everywhere, for all time.

This Juneteenth as we celebrate together the total end of slavery in this country, we can see the light of Jesus shining on all people. We can see this light and reflect it. As the kids sang so beautifully on Sunday: – This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, Everywhere I go I’m gonna let it shine, Jesus gave it to me I’m gonna let it shine. Let us all let it shine.

O God of justice and peace, we thank you for revealing your will to us. Because of your instruction, we need not stumble in the dark wondering what you require of us or what awaits your faithful people in the future. You offer us hope and a vision of where you are leading us. May we follow where you are leading that we might be instruments of your will and recipients of your blessing. Amen. 

Chris Gabel