Strangely, early last Sunday, I recalled an incident that brought me pleasure. My grandmother lived in Middlesboro, Kentucky, fifty miles from our home in Corbin. About once every two or three months, we would leave after Sunday school and drive to Middlesboro to visit. Those Sunday afternoon visits were so precious for me because I got to play with cousins. Even though my parents probably played with me, I have no memory of any playmates or any family time during those three years of being alone.
On Sunday, I was blessed to tears to have this memory of that time. One particular visit to Middlesboro was during the Christmas season. On the way home, I remember sitting in the back seat of the car with my face pressed to the window, looking at Christmas lights. The route (25E) took us through Pineville, Kentucky, a very mountainous area. As we drove through those high peaks, I noticed that all through the mountains were isolated spots of Christmas lights. Obviously, there were people living in those hills who had built their homes high above the towns. I still remember the warm feeling of those colored lights shining in the darkness of those huge, dark, mountains. It was like they were shining just for me.
As I relieved this memory, I started thanking God for giving me this precious glimpse of the past, and then I had a spiritual "vision" in regard to all the little churches that dot our landscapes. Don had been invited to preach for Rev. Charles Walker, pastor of a small church in Mount Dora, Florida. As I was getting ready, I thought of all the little "lights" that were shining that day. Each steeple, each cross, each little congregation beams out a message of light and hope. They are like the Christmas lights in the mountains of darkness.
Then I thought of all the little "house churches" throughout nations that restrict Christianity. Those little "lights" shine through the atheism, the communism, and whatever other "ism" that denies Jesus as the Lord and Savior. I've read about how they gather and how they treasure just a few pages of the Bible that they have managed to smuggle into their midst.
As we drove to Mount Dora, I looked for the little churches that dot the landscape. As we passed them, I felt so blessed, so connected to their mission. The label or name of the churches didn't matter - they all proclaim the birth, death, and resurrection of our Lord. They are each a light - multicolored and different in design and decoration, but they all have the same message.
May God bless you this season with some precious memory. I'm sure that many of you will have a memory that was not happy, so ask God to let that one recede into the background as you remember something or someone that was a blessing.
John 1:1-5: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him [Jesus] and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." John 1:9: "That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world."
Arlene Prewitt (firstname.lastname@example.org)