Darren Lippe helps facilitate Journey 101 “Loving God” classes, guides a 3rd grade Sunday school class, is a member of a small group & a men’s group, and serves on the Curriculum team.
With the 3rd graders reading their own Bibles, we’ve been having some extra fun in Sunday school. If time allows after our regular lesson, we’ll open the floor to questions about what the kiddos are reading from the Gospel of Mark, the Book of Acts, or general thoughts as they explore their very own Bible.
One comment that frequently pops up is the surprise that the New Testament is rather short compared to the Old Testament. If Jesus is the main story, the thinking goes, why do we need the Old Testament?
Suffice to say we could spend a great deal to time going down that rabbit trail, but today’s passage illustrates one very clear explanation: The New Testament is filled with references & quotations from the Old Testament. So, while we are understandably drawn to the compelling story of the New Testament, the Old Testament provides the reader incredible insight & information about God, about us, and about God’s hopes for us.
While on a Boy Scout campout with my older son, Matthew, I began to reflect on today’s charge to be “a light for the nations.” Fortunately a not-too-distant community was a busy railroad hub with trains blaring their horns in 64-minute increments throughout the night (a backlit digital clock is such a mixed blessing), giving me some extra time to consider this challenge.
My initial inclination was that we should make our best efforts to tell others about the love of Jesus, His incredible sacrifice He freely offered on our behalf, & His desire to heal our broken hearts & make them like new. But perhaps this is just an excellent 1st step. Maybe we could do more.
Consider the scenario of a camper on a campout without a flashlight. As dusk turns to night, without any light, everything becomes more complicated & harder than it really needs to be. Hiking through the woods becomes a treacherous trip. Trying to set up a tent becomes a struggle as one tries to locate poles & stakes.
Now, imagine our solution for our young camper was to just tell him about the flashlight. With the flashlight, we might say, instead of stumbling over every obstacle, you could see the hurdles in front of you & carefully navigate around them. Instead of losing key pieces of gear you could create shelter so much faster & certainly before that rainstorm heads this way. Our light has rechargeable batteries & never runs out of power, and it can clip on our belt so we are never alone without it. I love the flashlight in my life & you would too!
How do you think our young tenderfoot would respond to such exhortation? Grateful? Ecstatic? Or, perhaps he might be wondering why we talked so much about this awesome flashlight but never used it.
What if, instead, we helped our camper by showing him the light? We could provide the light and walk alongside him to assist him on his journey. We could point the light back up the trail so he could see how far he has gone. We could hold the light to help him create a shelter from life’s many storms. In short, we could tangibly demonstrate that this light would allow his campout to be filled with more peace, more hope, & more joy.
Next question. Mr. Lippe, what do they mean when they say the Virgin Mary? I’m so sorry; parents are here for check out. Have a great week!
Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.