So let’s talk about the eclipse for a second…
I’m not sure what I expected to happen here in Carrollton, GA at 2:35 PM on August 21, but I know what actually happened wasn’t it.
Most of our SoHills staff had been hanging out in the parking lot, watching the moon slowly move across the face of the sun, while sporting our trendy solar eclipse shades (thanks to Pack #2819). The sky was progressively getting darker and darker. The temperature was dropping. The “eclipse music” was playing (thanks to Andrew Hicks). Right before it was time, we all ran to the other side of the building to get a better view of the sky line.
And then… it happened! 95% of the sun was blocked by the moon!
It was neat to watch the moon move across the sun. The glasses were definitely styling! The temperature drop was crazy. But the climax… the big moment for those of us not in the “path of totality” was, at least for me, disappointing.
But in those moments I realized I hadn’t given the sun near enough credit! See, I thought I 95% would still get pretty dark. I still thought we’d see a funky “sunset” and hear the crickets. Wrong! I was blown away at how much light only 5% of the sun still gave in Carrollton. That little, tiny sliver of the sun could not be denied!
It made me think of what Jesus told his followers in the sermon on the mount:
You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. – Matthew 5:14-16
Sometimes I read the headlines, watch the news, or scroll social media, and it’s easy to get discouraged. It’s easy to think, “We’re just this one little sliver of light over here in West GA. How can we possibly be light in this dark world?” Then I remember it’s not my light!
John told us in his gospel, “The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:4-5).
We are carriers of the light of Jesus Christ. It’s not my light, not my hope, not my strength… but His!
And that is what City Station is all about! As I watch the steel and concrete continue to rise on Maple Street, I pray that we understand the calling that we have been given. I pray that we understand that we have been given a gift, the Light of the World, and that gift cannot, should not, will not, be hidden. The darkness can never extinguish it!
As we move forward as a church, let us continue to take seriously the call of being “light bearers.” Let us not grow weary of doing good. There is a world that feels the impending darkness all around them. May it be said of City Station, of Southern Hills, of the church, that the darkness absolutely could not overtake the light.
It is our mission. It is our calling. It is who we are: light in a dark world.
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20