1/6/2019 – If you knew everybody was watching you…

Posted on : Jan 3rd, 2019 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

Quinn Caldwell, one of our young UCC pastors, asked, “If you knew everybody was watching, what would you do differently?  If the world could see what you were doing right now, how would it change what you were up to? 

If you’re like most of us, you make a bit more of an effort on days when you’re going out than on ones you plan to spend on the couch.  If you’re like most of us, you say things to your family when you’re safe inside your house, and say them in a way, that you would never say in public.   

Well, Isaiah says God’s hoping for a lot more from you than just good public manners.  Isaiah says God’s given you – YOU! – as a light to the nations.  You’re to be the beacon fire on the mountaintop.  The searchlight on the rescue helicopter.  The torch in the Statue of Liberty’s hand. 

God doesn’t need you to be in the public eye; God needs you to be the light that lets the public see.  If you knew God needed you not just to be a public embarrassment, but to enlighten the world by the way you live your life, what would you do differently today?

Those words perfectly frame the place we are headed in the next two months.  The season is technically called “Epiphany.”  An epiphany is an “ah hah!” moment, a moment when we “get it!”  But it’s also a time of enlightenment, and both Isaiah and Jesus call you and me to be the enlighteners!   This Sunday we take the advent candles and Christ candle out into the world to lighten and brighten things up.  God knows, we certainly could use a lot of that right now!

Blessings to each of you on your journey of faith as we enter this New Year,


Isaiah 60: 1-6

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of God rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
    and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but God rises upon you
    and God’s glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
    and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

“Lift up your eyes and look about you:
    All assemble and come to you;
your sons come from afar,
    and your daughters are carried on the hip.
Then you will look and be radiant,
    your heart will throb and swell with joy;
All those people returning by sea for the reunion,
    a rich harvest of exiles gathered in from the nations!

Herds of camels will cover your land,
    young camels of Midian and Ephah.
And all from Sheba will come,
    bearing gold and incense
    and proclaiming the praise of our God.

New International Version (NIV), 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® All rights reserved worldwide. (Edited by Dan)


Matthew 5:13-16

You are the salt of the earth and light to the world.

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous God in heaven.

The Message (MSG)  Copyright © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson







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