Letting Jesus be the light for your weekend (Friday Soulfest)

How better to head into a weekend than a Soulfest? That’s a festival for your soul, and it means connecting with God in deeply happy-making ways.

Throughout 2014, I will be posting excerpts and prayer exercises from my book Luminous: Living the Presence and Power of Jesus. With these posts, I hope to give you springboards for communing with Jesus. He’s the one who puts the fest in our souls!

During February, I am posting from chapter one of Luminous. Today I start from the beginning: why the word “luminous?” In order to see the importance of this word, go back 2000 years and imagine you knew Jesus personally. I invite you to read the following slowly, taking time to feel the great wonder Jesus inspired in people…
If you were one of the disciples, how would you go about describing Jesus to people who had never seen him? You had lived with him for three and a half years. His presence among people was altogether unique. You felt a bond with him that drew you forward but mystified you at the same time. You had seen him perform miracle after miracle. He healed every day of the week, even on the Sabbath. He taught with a style and authority all his own, and when he talked about God, your heart burned within your chest. His compassion and love for people was unorthodox and life-changing. You had seen even the worst characters turn toward God after having one conversation with Jesus. No one owned him, although many tried. Even when he was crucified, he went to the cross of his own accord. How in the world would you ever convey who this most remarkable Jesus was? 
Here is how the disciple John did it: “In him was life, and that life was the light of all humankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world” (John 1:4-5, 9). In the same way a picture is worth a thousand words, a good image can go a long way toward capturing the essence of a person. In John’s case, he latched onto an image used in the Scriptures to talk about God bursting forth in the world to do his will. John described Jesus as the shining light. (Luminous, 24-25; thanks to Intervarsity Press for permission to excerpt)

Take a moment to reflect on how crucial light is to our everyday existence. Thank Jesus for not just talking about spiritual light but being the light. Let your sense of wonder and gratitude carry you today and into the weekend.

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