Living light for all God's children


“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
“And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” — Isaiah 60:1 

In the darkness of the struggle against apartheid, Alan Paton described in Cry the Beloved Country a person who embodied hope with these simple words: “There was a brightness about him.” 

This is the season after the Epiphany, the season enlightened by the star of Bethlehem, the season of brilliance, the season of shining light. The star dazzles, drawing wise ones from distant lands and diverse cultures to worship the Holy Child. This is the season of confident mission. The light shines, penetrating every darkness. 

As the legislative session begins in Jackson this month, we United Methodists are actively advocating for the needs of children in Mississippi. With the Episcopalian and Roman Catholic churches, we have initiated Congregations for Children, an expanding and now interfaith effort to monitor and to advocate for policies that are life-giving for children.   

Contact the governor and the legislators to urge full funding of the Mississippi Adequate Education Plan, public school teacher salary increases, the proposed pilot for high school redesign, the proposed pilot for pre-kindergarten and health insurance for children.   

Walk over to the public school near your home. Go to the office and ask how you and your church can be helpful. You will be welcomed into helpful engagement with children who need extra help with their homework or a winter coat. Effective partnerships of schools and congregations are in place in many places in Mississippi. 

Griffin United Methodist Church in Starkville has the vision: Every child in our church on the honor roll at school. That is a vision worthy of this glorious, brilliant season, a gift of our great and glorious God.