That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it. John 1
I have a friend who still dabbles in involvement with Churchianity. He does so, in search of loving fellowship and opportunity for Christian service. He continually gets hurt and confused, yet he keeps going back to Churchianity-sponsored events, like a battered victim going back to an abusive lover/spouse, in hope that things will be “different this time”.
He is a light in the darkness. The darkness brings discouragement and rejection yet the light brings joy and love. He is a bringer of Light’s joy and love, even in the darkness of Churchianity’s corruption and dishonesty.
He wants to serve. He wants to help. He wants to give. In the name of Christ, and in the love of Christ. These are his simple, loving and profound gifts to the world.
He went to a big Church ministry event, offering himself as a servant helper. He also has ideas to contribute. The leader of the ministry berated him, chewing him out verbally, putting him down and in his place for overstepping his bounds and not keeping his “place” as obedient mindless volunteer. (His crime was offering a few ideas for how to do the ministry in a more effective manner.)
But that day, he also had the opportunity to lovingly, gently minister to the spiritual needs of one family and he was a blessing to them. His light shined in the darkness of the hypocrisy of this big well advertised, well attended, Church-State, pop “outreach” event.
He went up to The City to join a popular ministry organization, to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of San Francisco’s poorest people.
When he went online to sign up, he found out he had to pay $25. for the privilege of working with this organization in their holiday outreach event. This was money he did not have to spend. He can’t afford to pay a fee to a 501c3 Incorporated business, in order to freely give what he has (love, kindness, help) to others. He also knows that we sheep should not have to pay the “Clergy” or any business for the right or privilege of doing evangelism, encouraging others or feeding the hungry, or using any other spiritual gifts for that matter. He sadly went elsewhere and found some other place where he could feed dinner to the homeless on that day, without paying a fee to do so.
Another week, he signed up with that group in The City for a ministry day that was offered for “free”, ie no fee required. On that day, he (and two other men) together as a team physically and spiritually blessed and helped a gentleman who lives in a tiny SF Tenderloin apartment. His light shined in the darkness of the hypocrisy of the famous Evangelical Famous Pastor led, “serving the poor” group.
His joy overcomes his sadness. The Light within him, encouraged him. His light still shines. The darkness did not overcome it!