Aunt Sylvia was a devoted Southern Baptist and she always took me to Sunday school on those summer Sundays. I remember sometimes not wanting to go, wishing to stay in my usual bathing suit and T-shirt attire roaming the beach or swimming, but she was special to me and besides, Mom made it clear that I was going.
I remember in Sunday school singing that little Sunday school praise, "This little light of mine, I'm gonna' let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine." Now I must confess that as a youngster I didn't really take in the full value of the words, but I know that every time I was in a darkened room with a candle I remembered it as I marveled at the power of the candlelight. Being on the often stormy Atlantic coast in tropical season, it wasn't unusual for us to need that candlelight frequently with the many storms that came our way.
As I grew and studied the Bible, the meaning became very clear to me. The Light referred to is the Light of the World, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And at this time, right in the middle of covering the Book of John with my Sunday school students, the Light of Life is ever present in John's Gospel. And it certainly makes sense, for Jesus brings Light to our world and removes us from the darkness that satan, the fallen angel, is always trying to surround us with. The Light is the Life, Everlasting Life and only by following the Light can we escape the dreadful fate that would otherwise engulf us.
As I grow older, I think of my blessed, now deceased aunt often, and I am so thankful that I had those wonderful summers with her and my family at one of the most beautiful places on earth, the North Carolina Atlantic shore. And I look forward to that time that will ultimately come again, when we are all back together with Him.
"When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we'll sing and shout the victory!" Refrain from When We All Get to Heaven, words by Eliza Hewitt, music by Emily Wilson, 1898
Have a blessed Sunday everyone.