Lightbulb Witnessing

Craig Ross

It doesn’t look like much, does it?  Its just a halogen light bulb that along with a couple of its friends, helped to back light the Luther Rose stained glass window on the sanctuary wall, at the back of our altar area up until a couple of months ago.  It would set you back two or three bucks in an electric supply store.  But for that modest cost, it has been tirelessly working for us for fourteen years, quietly celebrating our Lutheran heritage at virtually every gathering of believers held in the sanctuary during that time. 

Counting Sunday worship, special services, funerals and weddings, and various and sundry other events like graduations, baccalaureate services, concerts, and annual meetings … you’re probably looking at more than 2,000 events that this little puppy has been doing its job — proclaiming the faith through the Luther Rose symbol.  The magnitude of the work this little bulb has provided was matched by the diligent exploration one of our property committee members, who committed himself to researching the problem of a darkening window.  He climbed up into the eaves of our sanctuary to investigate how our Luther Rose window was being lit, unseen by everyone, but determined to find the problem of our partially lit window.

I fully recognize that I can get  a little over the top with my devotional imagery at times, and today is one of those days.  (You’ve been warned.)  But can you think of a better image of the call to Christian witness than this little light bulb?  Quietly and invisibly, this bulb has lit up the symbolism found in our window (the black cross of sin that compromises our red and beating heart, which overlays but does not completely corrupt the joy, love and peace found in the white rose petals of faith.  The blue background reminds us of the heavenly home which awaits us in this faith and the protection offered by a golden ring, promising life without end).  And in an equally quiet and invisible way, our property committee member tracked down this little bulb and its companions who had “given up the ghost” of their illuminative lives.  With no fanfare and no desire for recognition, our church member got new bulbs, replaced them, and made sure that the Luther Rose would be fully lit for the seminary graduation that was just a few days away.

I can think of few models of Christian witness that are more powerful than this one.  (… well, I can think of a couple of others, I suppose, but I’ll leave my devotional considerations  of card ministry, communion ministers, nursery caretaking, clothes sorting, kitchen cooking … need I go on? … for another devotional day).  So, I say to R—, thank you for seeing the problem with our window … thank you for figuring out what was wrong … thank you for finding a solution.  AND … thank you for your quiet, behind-the-scenes witnessing through the quite ordinary task of property management, which became an extraordinarily faithful and loving ministry to the Lord.  You, along with out little halogen light bulb are fit recipients of the commendation of the master in Matthew 25 … “well done, good and faithful servant.”

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Rev. Craig Ross

Senior Pastor

The vibrancy of life here at St. Peter’s makes my service on our staff a joy and privilege. Visitation, teaching and preaching are the ministries that feed my pastoral identity, as together our staff and lay members share in our missional calling … Building a community of faith by God’s grace.

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