“…God who said let there be light has caused his light to shine into our hearts. But this light doesn’t stop with us, He also said in the book of Matthew: “You are the light of the world.” There is no point fussing over the darkness in the world, God knew of it and made adequate provisions for it- You and me.”
“We are to shine as light in our world; we are to show the world what it means to be a Christian. Don’t get swallowed up in darkness, rather let His light shine through you so that men can see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
“God is glorified when we leave the confines of a Church building and carry his light to the streets, to difficult situations, to lost people, to the mundane events of life. That is what it means to be a light. It has nothing to do with your denomination or doctrine.”
Everyone listened with rapt attention as Pst. Emeka preached his sermon.
I was particularly pleased with his demeanor and charisma, but more than that, he spoke with so much passion one would easily know he was convinced of what he was preaching and lived it out.
“There is no better time to shine than now.” He continued “Jesus didn’t just say we should shine but to shine so much that we will be seen. The darkness is thick, but our light is brighter. Hallelujah!”
“Hallelujah!” The congregation chorused
“Darkness can never comprehend the light of Christ and this is the light that shines into men’s lives and reveals Jesus to them. The solution to the problems in the world lies with you and I- the Church. Jesus is the answer and he is in us but if we don’t arise and shine, darkness will not be overcome.”
“The Church of which I speak is not a denomination but the body of Christ all over the world; those who have been called of God and believe in him- that is the church Jesus is coming for.”
“God is at work in us to produce that which is pleasing to him, he is removing every spot, wrinkle and blemish. Jesus is not coming for a weak, tired, crawling church, never! He is coming for a Glorious Church, triumphant and victorious; that is what he sent me to tell us today.”
“Away with the frail attitude, away with fearful and sinful lifestyle, we are the Triumphant church clothed in might and strength. We have overcome sickness, sin, poverty, religion, fear and death. We are conquering our world; taking nations for Christ and establishing his dominion all over the earth. We are conquering men’s heart with the love of Christ and bringing every creation in obedience to Christ.”
“Enough of folding our hands and complaining, backbiting and stabbing each other, enough of counting who is seating the largest congregation and who is wearing a better suit. We unite with one voice and one heart to say: Your Kingdom come oh Lord, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
“There is a lot more to the following Jesus than coming to Church every Sunday, feeling good in an air-conditioned state of the art facility and speaking the language of Christians – christianese.”
“As you leave here, throw away your denominational cloaks and carry the Church beyond these walls. This is just a building, you are the Church! Transmit light to your homes, offices, businesses and world. Don’t live beggarly, live righteously and victoriously as we await the glorious return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
“I pray God opens our heart to a deeper understanding of his body- the Church so we can fill in our part in the whole. I pray we all shine as the Lights that we are.”
* * *
My heart was greatly stirred by the message but I guessed nobody was more blessed than Fatima. Before the close of the service, the church prayed passionately for her. She was leaving on Monday morning and this was her last service with us. Though she wanted to stay some more but her father had already booked her flight and she knew better than to say no to him.
For her, it was a waiting battle that she could never run away from, delaying it would make no difference.
The church members showered her with love and affection. It was really an emotional time as few of us gathered round her after the service to bid her farewell and share our last moments with her as a family.
She did her best to fight back the tears but her feelings got a better part of her. Some were deeply moved to tears as they hugged and wished her well.
As for me, I just stood and wondered why God couldn’t use his veto power to keep her with us at least for some more time, instead of allowing her to go when things were becoming sweet. I cringed at my selfish motive. She was light and God was sending her to her family who needed it more.
As though she read my thoughts; she spoke with teary eyes:
“I really appreciate you all for showing me love and kindness; for accepting me. I believe you will keep praying for me as I go to shine as light in my dark world just like we learnt today.” Smiling she continued “You guys know that we can’t all remain here, there will be too many lights that it could blind the eyes.” She giggled somewhat surprised she was saying such soothing words.
But nothing could be truer.
* * *
We spent the night together talking about our plans for the future and how to apply the things we learnt over the past months and we enjoyed every moment. I sent my boss a text informing him that I will be few minutes late for work the next day, thankfully he didn’t have a problem with it.
I accompanied Fatima to the airport in the morning to bid her farewell. Pastor Emeka had sent his driver to drop us after few words of encouragement and prayer. He also gave her some money in an envelope.
We arrived just in time to meet the announcement of the flight departure, She held my hand as she spoke:
“Inenna, God is wonderful. I never imagined all that happened in these few months. I didn’t plan for it and even if I was told, I wouldn’t believe it. But I am most grateful for how God ordered my footsteps and brought me to himself. You have been a huge blessing and I can never forget that. I pray God causes our paths to cross sometime soonest. But I will keep in touch and don’t stop praying for me.
“I won’t dearie, I will really miss you. Safe trip.” We hugged so tightly.
“Love you more. Say me Hi to everyone at home.”