morning was cloudy and rainy. Everything appeared drab and gray as
the light from the sun was blocked by a thick cloud cover. Even the
moods of people seemed muted and subdued. Yesterday, in contrast, was
a beautiful day with a bright blue sky, a warm yellow sun and trees that
were red and gold. The world seemed to sparkle and vibrate with life
and color. People seemed to reflect this light and color-filled world with
high energy and warmth.
Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, wrote about what gave light and life—and
that was the salvation that God was working both within and with them.
The word that Paul used in describing God and his work was “energy”---that
God was the Energizer and the giver of energy to his people, creating both
the desire and activity to live out his work in the world. He described
them as “cooperating” with God in His salvation work and encouraged them
to be a light in a world of darkness. The picture he uses here is not
of someone carrying a lantern around to light a small area, but of a heavenly
body or luminaries that reflected light in the dark of night. The Philippians
were being encouraged by Paul to live in a way that provided people with
a glimpse of the living God in the midst of a world marked by curved roads
and distorted perspectives. It was his desire that in reflecting God,
a breath of fresh air would be provided to a world suffocating with pollution.
It is a timeless message—God is still infusing his people with energy and
life to reflect light into a dark world. It is easy to feel blocked
from that light, much like the world on a cloudy day. We are sometimes
lost in a fog of a distorted and warped culture, a feeling of lethargy as
we go about our lives, and a sense of confusion when things seem meaningless.
Paul is telling both the Philippians and us that we have the energy of God
within us—an inner light and an internal spark to continue his work.
He is telling us that we are like the stars in the night, reflecting light
from a heavenly source to create a ray of hope in a dark world. That
is a thought that can create an inner light, a warm feeling and a energy
to burn, even on a rainy day.