Lighthouse in the dark

Burning Light

As the more reclusive type (i.e., sitting alone, or with my wife, quietly in a space without other people), it is easy to fall into a rhythm of not interacting with people. In fact, it’s too easy. These times of non-interaction, however, can produce new thoughts.

Joni, my wife, baked springerle this Christmas. Springerle is a traditional anise-flavored German cookie that has, for generations, been made by rolling dough into intricate hand-carved molds. She only found a “rolling-pin” style, but it got the job done.

Springerle molds often served the same purpose as stained-glass windows: telling the story of God through pictures to people who could not read. In preparation for next year (maybe I’ll help do something other than eat the cookies), I started looking for springerle molds.

One of the websites I found was in German (which makes sense). They had many molds. One of the ones I found was for a lighthouse. In German, lighthouse is “leuchtturm”. Look at that word for a moment.

Perhaps it is just my mind. I saw lectern. According to learned people, lectern’s root is the Latin word “lectus”. However, as the term lectern was (supposedly) only used for the reading of the Scriptures, perhaps leuchtturm is the true origin of our lectern.

Just as “Star of Bethlehem” drew (the “wise” men or magi) from afar, so does the speaking and reading of the Scriptures bring light into the world that is in pain and dying. Similarly, a lighthouse casts its light into the dark seas, guidance and the promise of security to ships.

While writing devotionals can be difficult, I’ve now spent enough time with God’s word burning that I cannot help but write.

I will never be that “great” pastor/writer that people talk about. I am only beginning to understand God’s on my , knowing that it is still growing and changing. I’m okay to not be okay with not knowing, yet still .

Those magi “trusted” that something amazing was going to happen. Paul “trusted” that God’s call on his life was to the Gentiles (people he himself once viewed hostilely). I “trust” that God is using me through these devotionals.


What is God calling you to do more of? If you already have a ministry, what is God calling on you to to fulfill His commission for you?

What new thing might God be calling you to this year?


God, Epiphany calls upon us to that even (a star) will draw people to you. Help us to remember that the is for all people, and that you desire that all people come to know you. Help us to be your faithful, trusting, and open servants. May we be and responsive to your call on our lives. Amen.

Image courtesy of Michak Lootwijk