His Word is a lamp

fireworks-227383_1280.jpgThe best Fourth of July fireworks show I ever saw was on a mountaintop in Colorado.  The summer after my first year in seminary, I worked with a program called A Christian Ministry in National Parks.  The program trains college and seminary students to provide worship for people camping in the National Parks.  I was blessed with the opportunity to live for the summer in Estes Park and work in Rocky Mountain National Park.  On July 4th, I went with a group of friends on a hike up a mountain to watch the fireworks.  It was an impressive display.  We could see 4 different shows at once.


On the way back down the mountain, we encountered some trouble.  It turned out that between myself and two other friends we only had two flashlights, and one of those flashlights barely worked.  We had a five-mile hike ahead of us, down a dark and twisting rocky path, and we were without adequate light.


However, I learned something very important that night.  When you are going on a five-mile hike, you don’t need to see the whole path at once.  You only need to see one step in front of you.  As I thought about this lesson, I remembered a conversation I’d had with my seminary professor right before I left for the summer.  I confessed to him that I was scared about going into ministry and unsure what the future would hold.  He responded by explaining to me Psalm 119:105.  (“Your word is a lamp for my feet, and a light for my path.”)  He told me that the lamps they used in this time were small little oil lamps that shone only a few feet in the darkness.  Often God doesn’t show us the whole path all at once.  Usually we get a just a few feet at a time.


As I hiked down the mountain with my friends, I learned that you really can hike a mountain only seeing a few feet at a time.  I should also mention that when we were maybe 2/3 of the way to the bottom, another group came behind us with headlamps.  They taught me two things.  One: if you are night-hiking, wear a headlamp!  Two, the journey is always easier when you have someone else’s light to brighten your path.


I tell you that story in order to say, that as we begin a new ministry journey together I feel like I’m holding a dim flashlight and peering into the darkness.  I trust that it will be a fun and exciting journey together, but I can’t see what will happen.  In the midst of my joy in coming to O’Fallon, I also have fears and doubts.  There will be some challenges in this new chapter of ministry.  I am peering into the darkness.


However, in spite of the darkness, I have two strong promises.  One, God has given us a light for our path.  God’s Word, the Bible, and Jesus, the Word of God, provide light for our path.  Second, I do not journey alone.  None of us know the future, but we do know that God has called us to journey together and share the light that we have seen.  And so, O’Fallon First United Methodist Church, let’s start hiking together!

Pastor Becky Williams
Associate Pastor


No longer wander in the darkness.


We have all looked out windows in the predawn or post sunset times and seen darkness – well, at least we have not seen light.  Darkness.  Can you imagine stumbling around to find one’s way in utter darkness?  We need lights to see. Yard lights, flashlights, headlights, or other illumination devices all help us to find our way when we cannot see our way otherwise.


God cares about our being able to overcome darkness.  He gave us light.  “I form the light and make the dark.”  (Isaiah 45:7)  “When God began creating the heavens and the earth, the earth was a shapeless, chaotic mass, with the Spirit of God brooding over the dark vapors.  Then God said, “Let there be light.”  And light appeared.  And God was pleased with it, and divided the light from the darkness.  He called the light “daytime,” and the darkness “nighttime.”  (Genesis 1)


Do you live in a chaotic emotional, spiritual, physical, financial, and/or relational mess?  Please remember this at this Lenten Season:  “I have come as a Light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer wander in the darkness.”  John 12:46


Jesus was resurrected.  He arose to victory so that we might have victory over sin, and death and hell.  Things that are the darkest.  He brought us resurrection LIGHT and LIFE.  Maybe it is your moment to recognize that His Light can overcome any darkness you may be in.


Happy Easter,

Ron and Phyllis