The New Room has been sharing a Friday reflection each week. We hope that these short reflections act as a point of spiritual focus, enabling a moment of quiet thought and prayer.
We are delighted to have a contribution from the USA this week. Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton was appointed as the spiritual leader of the 421 United Methodist congregations in the New York Annual Conference in autumn 2016. He was born in West Virginia where he served several churches as pastor.
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness – on them light has shined.”
In the sermon, The Scripture Way of Salvation, John Wesley writes these words:
“. . . what God hath promised, he (God) is able to perform. …But if God speaks, it shall be done. God saith, ‘Let there be light; and there’ is ‘light.’”
The reality of the human condition and the need for God’s divine intervention is clearly all around us. The uncertainty of a changing climate, the persistence and devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ugliness of ongoing racial injustice, as well as the fragile nature of human driven political systems, are just a few of the many circumstances that illustrate how very inadequate we are and how deep our need really is. In the midst of these moments, it is important for us to claim the faith that we profess and proclaim that faith to a world searching and, at times, clamoring for meaning, purpose, and direction. No matter how hard we try, humanity can never get beyond its shortcomings and sin. God is in charge and we are not. God, as the writer of Ephesians proclaims, “is able to achieve immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV).
I believe in a God who has the power to guide and direct our thinking and our decision-making. I believe in a God who loves us unconditionally and desires for us all that is good and right and holy. I believe in a God who is limitless in power with whom all things are possible. And I believe that when we turn to God, seeking the blessing and wisdom of God’s direction, the darkness will turn to light and we will be able to find our way, not on our own accord, but with the guidance that only our sovereign God can provide.
I believe. I pray that you do as well.
In her book, Circles of Grace, Jan Richardson writes,
Blessed are you who bear the light in unbearable times,
who testify to its endurance amid the unendurable,
who bear witness to its persistence
when everything seems in shadow and grief.
Blessed are you in whom the light lives
in whom the brightness blazes –
your heart a chapel, an altar where in the deepest night
can be seen the fire that shines forth in you
in unaccountable faith,
in stubborn hope,
in love that illumines every broken thing it finds.
May it be so. Amen.