Thursday, April 20, 2006

Geri's Easter Reflection


Jesus has called us to be “light” in this often dim world in which we live. As I brainstormed illustrations of how we are to be light, I certainly landed on the more commonplace Christian churchy examples, you know, “It only takes a spark…;” “This little light of mine….”

I even thought for more than a few minutes about how a disco ball represents how Jeff Street is light. But I was afraid if I actually brought one in that on a day like our Easter Sunday celebration and with so many reformed Baptists, there would be too much dancing!

But then I settled unwaveringly on the way we at Jeff Street represent “light” as a Lite Brite.

Growing up, my brother and I had a Lite Brite. I do remember that when our parents would have a dinner party with friends or family, I would sometimes retreat to my room and make a Lite Brite picture and then put it on display for all to see. The clown picture was my favorite, and I was sad to see it’s not included in these new high-tech looking flat-screen laptop versions.

Anyway, the one thing that I didn’t like about my Lite Brite were those blank opaque black pages. Hasbro, the Lite Brite maker, calls them “free form” sheets, but to me they were frighteningly too random.

You see, as a child (and I’m still working on it 40 years later), the only verse in the Bible I seemed to take literally was in Matthew 5, the “Love your enemies” passage. And while that concept is difficult enough, the verse that stuck with me was “Be ye perfect as God is perfect.”


So the color-coded patterned dots on the Lite Brite pictures that were provided were very comforting for me. I couldn’t go wrong; would never end up with a picture that was unrecognizable to the party guests. Yeah, that’s right…I would despair if I colored outside the lines, too. Sad, I know.

But as my theology has, thankfully, become more “free form,” not following the patterns of how I might have been taught earlier in life, I have come to see this community and how we practice being Light in this world like those random patterns on a blank black free form Lite Brite page. Of course, there is a constant source of the actual light which makes the colored pegs glow, which we could define as Jesus or at least the ways in which we strive to be like he was, all justice-seeking and loving and all.

Lite Brite’s don’t plug in anymore; they operate on batteries, so I guess you could say that the steadiness of the glowing picture is more vulnerable today than in the past, and perhaps that does describe the church’s impact in today’s world. But just think about how we as faith community come together--all different colors in a random design, all over the place, no rhyme or reason sometimes…all of us just here, letting the source of light flow through our translucent colors; and depending on the pictures we choose to make, some shining brighter than others at times.

I think it’s why many of us have found a way to be a peg in this picture at Jeff Street, rather than fitting in a prescribed pattern of practicing our faith. I have come to believe this free form way makes a much more beautiful picture!


By Geri, who is, if not perfect, pretty darned close...


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