Reformation Lutheran Church A Congregation of the ELCA

Friday, February 28

Ken Hobart

Shine, Jesus, Shine

As we gaze on your kingly brightness, so our faces display your likeness…

 

One of the things I love most about Reformation is that it often feels like a family. Like a family, there are many different elements to it – different opinions; different likes and dislikes; different levels of education and income; different backgrounds. Yet, we are bound together by the Spirit into a family, going through good times and bad, but still a family.

 

In “Shine, Jesus Shine,” I feel that Holy Spirit running through it. The song’s quick, light tempo is uplifting, like a breeze blowing past your face on a beautiful spring day. It glories in the wonder of Christ’s love shining on the world like the Sun, illuminating everything, binding us together as God’s creation.

 

One of the more interesting passages in the song is how humankind is shown in the Light. The first part of that passage states “As we gaze on your kingly brightness, so our faces display your likeness” – the glory of Christ, shining on all of us, shows all of God’s creation. Like sunlight, it has no bias or discrimination. All of us are God’s, made in God’s image.

 

Next, “ever changing from glory to glory”. Each life God created is part of God’s glory, each is part of the humankind that Christ died for to save us. Finally, “mirrored here, may our lives tell your story.” Each life is part of the story of Christ’s salvation and God’s creation, which goes on and on. From a God whose wonders have no limit, no end, doesn’t it only make sense that each of us, as different as we are, make up a part of the same story?

 

In a world in which we seem more divided than ever, in which we draw lines in the sand over a myriad of things – faith, politics, gender, culture – it probably grieves Christ that we rely on our differences than the common thread that connects us. That thread is the fact that we are all God’s; we are all elements of the same great story. Whether you live in a nice house in a gated community or you are struggling for shelter on a winter’s night on a street in downtown Wichita, you are a face reflecting Christ’s love. Or maybe you are a young person struggling with difficulties or you are a middle-aged person content with life, you are part of the story of a saved humankind.

 

We need to remember that the one common thread is that each one of us tells Christ’s story with our lives. Our differences are important and should be respected, yes, but let us remember that the fact that we are all part of that story should be our guiding light, our common glory.

 

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