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Light Trouble  

With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, it was time to set up our Christmas manger scene. Slot A met Tab B, and the white cut-out boards snapped together in no time. The final touch—a white floodlight to illuminate Jesus and the manger scene.

Having shoved the plastic fixture into the lawn, I connected the extension cords, turned the light switch and…nothing. A quick examination revealed a crack that was more than a little suspicious. Time to replace it.

We found a new fixture at Home Depot the next day, and I eagerly threaded the floodlight into the socket. We turned on the switch, and this time the light came on. Then went off. Then went on. Perhaps the bulb wasn’t threaded in all the way? I cranked it firmly a quarter turn—and the darkness was disappointingly dark.

Aha! I needed only to swap out that old bulb for a new one! Problem is, I’d cranked it so tight, the bulb’s glass actually separated from the threaded insert. My (brand new) fixture was doomed.

After a second trip to Home Depot, we returned with an all-in-one LED fixture, plugged it in, and—finally enjoyed the glorious light. Funny how sometimes, shining a spotlight on Jesus takes more effort than you might think.

That’s been our experience with neighbors whom we’ve been trying to get to know—so we can introduce them to Christ. In Mathew 5:16, Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

As for “good deeds,” we’ve made some effort—but it hasn’t seemed to pay off. We tried bringing over a food basket. They seemed to appreciate it, but it didn’t make much of a connection. We gave them a small photo canvas of their little girl. A thank you—but no sense of relationship afterward.

It's tempting to write this off as a friendship that probably won't take off. But back to Matthew 5:16. When Jesus challenges us to let our lights shine, He speaks of letting others “see your good deeds.” Notice that the deeds are plural. As in many. Over time.

So, maybe (like us) you have yet to connect with a neighbor or coworker. You say, “I tried, but nothing’s happened.” Maybe not. Not yet. But try again—I dare you. Because sometimes, shining a spotlight on Jesus takes more effort than you might think.


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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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