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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Today’s Reading | Luke 8:16–21

“No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light. Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away.” Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” But he said to them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” (NRSV)

When I read through this passage, the song “This Little Light of Mine” immediately pops into my head. I remember the joy singing this song brought me as a child, particularly the verse that says “Hide it under a bushel: NO! I’m gonna let it shine.” When we sing this song during Children’s Chapel, our kids belt that verse with the same energy and exuberance that I recall as a child. It’s fun to sing, and it also holds a pretty powerful message.

Do you let God’s light shine as you go about your daily life? In June, I taught handbells to several wonderful groups of elementary students at the Presbyterian Association of Musicians Worship and Music conferences in Montreat, North Carolina. The final day of classes were tough, as we were all sad to say good-bye to each other after a great week of music making. One student brought me a “kindness coin” on our last day of the conference. He explained that he was giving me this because he appreciated what I had taught him, and he thanked me for being such a nice teacher. He then told me that I had to take this coin back to Chicago and pass it on to someone who was kind to me. By the end of the day, I had an entire collection of kindness coins, ready to pay them forward. A simple hello or a kind word can make a huge difference in someone’s day. These simple deeds show others God’s light and love. I keep one of those coins in my wallet as a reminder to keep that light shining!

Gracious God, remind me to keep the light of your love always shining, so that all who are around me may see and receive this light. Amen.

Written by Briana Belding-Peck, Family Ministry Coordinator

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