Ever seen light shooting out of your fingers? Me, neither. But do you remember when the Beast’s fingers did that, as his curse was being lifted? Inside that beast was a human being. It’s a pretty good visual for being filled with the Holy Spirit, I think. One minute you’re growling around, in the depths of despair, fighting with the enemy. The next minute, you’re lifted up, filled with light, and the weight of all that beastliness is gone.
These last few months have been beast times for me. I’ll spare you the details, but I can bet every one of you reading this have had your own beast times. It’s no fun, for you, or for the friends, family, and colleagues that are around you. But in the last week, things have shifted. I feel the Holy Spirit inside is no longer buried under a heavy coat of fur. It feels like a new beginning.
It seems appropriate that it is also a new year. As Jimmy Buffett would say, it’s time to treat my body like a temple, rather than a tent — a temple of the Holy Spirit. With all that optimism, allow me to share with you this Collect from church this morning:
Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
May we all shine in the coming year, so that the people we meet can see the light inside.