The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. Isaiah 9:2
The German Lutheran pastor Hermann Dietzfelbinger wrote, “I have to preach and teach Bible classes, I am committed to proclaim the good news of the grace of God in Jesus Christ, who opens the eyes of the blind, delivers the captives and those who sit in darkness? But who proclaims this good news to me? I too have sat in darkness.” There are definitely times where servants in the church sit in darkness, not the darkness of unbelief, but the darkness of depression and loneliness.
Young people considering church vocations may not think about the perils of time spent ministering to hurting people. Restless nights, anxious phone calls and stressful meetings can fill the daily schedules of workers when they feel overwhelmed by the demands of their particular calls. There are times when passionate and well-intentioned laypeople simply add to the weight that church workers are already feeling. Church members are not the only ones with particular emotional and spiritual needs. Church workers also need others who will bear their burdens. Even pastors can find themselves plunged into the darkness of doubt and despair. Who will the Lord use to bring the light of Christ to those who sit in darkness? My prayer is that all of us will see that our calling as Christians is to reflect Jesus, the Light of the world, to those who sit in darkness.
Church workers are not immune to the strain and stress of life in this fallen world. At times, the hurts and pains that they are experiencing are inflicted by those within the church. For all of us, we have a hope that the suffering and pain that we endure is not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us through Christ Jesus in the resurrection on the last day. Until that day, our Lord fills our ears and hearts with His Good News so that we can speak the Gospel to those in darkness of any kind. Please join me in praying for our church workers who find themselves sitting in the darkness. But more than just praying for them, may God use you to bring the light of the Good News of Jesus Christ to them in their time of need.
Prayer – Almighty and everlasting God, our heavenly Father, You sent Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ to bring life and immortality to light. May the light of Christ’s love strengthen and sustain us all in the midst of the darkness of life in this fallen world until we bask in Your eternal light in heaven, where there is no night; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan