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People of Light

By Barry Jones
In eLetter
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Yesterday, January 6th, was what the church has historically referred to as the Feast Day of the Epiphany. Throughout the church’s history that day has been associated with the visit of the wise men who had come from a far-off place to visit the baby Jesus. It’s a day that celebrates the reality that, in his incarnation, Jesus came not only to be the messiah of Israel but the light to the nations, the savior of the world. For the church, Epiphany is a day of light.

Yet, here in America, yesterday was a day of darkness. Yesterday the U.S. Capitol Building was overrun by a mob of people bent on disrupting the U.S. Congress from exercising its constitutional responsibility in a peaceful transition of power, a hallmark of our constitutional republic. Four people died, 54 arrested, 14 officers were hurt, and several guns and explosives were confiscated. The confederate flag was paraded through the Capitol Building. It was a dark day in our national history.

What our world so desperately needs is the light of the gospel shining forth from the church. In John 8:12 Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” But in Matthew 5:14 he said to his disciples, “You are the light of the world.” We are called to reflect his light into the darkness around us. The world needs the light of the gospel shining forth from a church that is not seduced by nationalism or the allure of political power, not inordinately preoccupied with ideologies of the left or the right, but preoccupied with Jesus, with his kingdom and his righteousness.

Friends, let’s commit to being in prayer for this nation. Let’s commit to being in prayer for our national leaders on both sides of the aisle and on both sides of the transition. Let’s commit to filling our minds with the word of God and not just the 24-hour news cycle. Let’s commit to engaging with God in prayer and not just engaging with others on social media. Let’s commit to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God” (Micah 6:8).

Writing around the year 200, an early Christian apologist named Minucius Felix wrote of the church, “Beauty of life causes strangers to join the ranks … We do not preach great things; we live them.” At Irving Bible Church, may we be known as a people marked by a beauty of life, a people who don’t just preach great things but live them, a people who shine the light of Christ into the darkness—for the sake of the world.

Barry Jones

Senior Pastor

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