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Let your light shine

The Rev. Benton Heisler thanks God for the gifts given Michigan United Methodists.

Director of Connectional Ministries, West Michigan

I was out late in the night recently walking my Golden Retriever. It was a beautiful clear crisp night. The moon filled the sky in one corner and the stars offered their scattered brilliance across the wide expanse. It is amazing how much one point of light can stand out in the midst of deep darkness.

That is our role as Christians, “Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16) The Gospel of John teaches us that Christ has come as that Light. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:5)

The world is far too full of the absence of “Light”: Greed, Sports Idolatry, Political Corruption, Gun Violence, Gambling and Substance Addiction, Sexual Misconduct, Abuse, Infidelity, Immorality, Underfunded Education, Over-funded Expenditures for Military Solutions to Human Relations Problems. The list goes on… We will never legislate, advocate, demonstrate, donate, and orate our way to a comprehensive resolution. It is a matter of the HEART. I find that this element, a need for a “Spiritual Heart Transplant,” is too often missing in the rhetoric of too many Hollywood and media “bright stars.”

The root cause is sin. The Church needs to continue to craft and proclaim its message of hope and healing, grace and goodness, compassion and courage, all guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit.

I am deeply honored to have been selected as the Director of Connectional Ministries for the Michigan Conference! There are thousands of laity and hundreds of clergy across this great state that are passionate points of light reflecting the light and love of Christ in every county of Michigan. They are students and teachers in schools, care providers in hospitals and clinics, workers on assembly lines, stay at home moms schooling their children, single parents holding two jobs to make ends meet, retirees volunteering in places of need, young adults imagining the next great ideas and products via internet collaboration, farmers investing thousands of dollars in faith in the soil so that we might all be fed. They are lawyers, judges, probation officers and social workers seeking justice and restoration for the broken. The list could go on.

Do you see, United Methodists of Michigan, all the gifts and points of light with which God has gifted the Church? My friends, we are uniquely poised to the Christ Centered Bold and Effective Leaders, in Vibrant Congregations transforming the world through our Mission and Ministry!

Let your light so shine!

~“If you make my Word your home, you will indeed be my disciples. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:13 New Jerusalem Bible.)” Each article I write for this column is based in the guidance of a particular Scripture passage. I pray that these reflections, stories and information will assist you in your own witness and service as a Disciple of Jesus Christ.

Last Updated on October 17, 2022

The Michigan Conference