I'm in New Orleans with a group of 16 youth & adults from Windsor Heights Lutheran Church; the congregation I serve in Des Moines, IA. I invited our group participants the change to offer their reflections throughout the week on koinonia.
The friday night mass gathering in the dome was particularly moving. The speaker was the Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee. She talked about hope. Hope is a word that has such a different meaning to many people. Some know what it is like to need or want hope, others hope for things. Her message was a great definition of what hope actually is. She talked about the need for hope because hope was lost in their life from anything such as bullying to parts of the world that are stricken with poverty. But, here is the key to hope, Jesus. We are all loved by Jesus and we are God’s children. Spreading God’s love gives hope to people. However she acknowledged that even though one person can be a light in the darkness, one can’t change the world. Next came the most moving part of the trip; she asked everyone to turn on their cell phones. The light from the phones lit the dome. It looked like a little city. She then started everyone singing “This Little Light of Mine”. Suddenly the little light that couldn’t change the world became bright and all the little voices became one big voice. Tears were impossible to hold back at this point. I am pretty sure that if a person was having trouble finding hope in life, they could’ve felt the Holy Spirit then. But the question that everyone is asking; how do you keep that hope and energy strong when you leave the magical Lutherdome? You keep your little light shining and giving hope to one person at a time (by standing up to a bully, giving someone a hug when they need it, or just giving someone a smile and a word of encouragement when they look like they could use one) and then their light will shine, and the “pass it on” theory starts. Soon we will have a little city again, and just maybe the world will begin to change. I have HOPE that it will. My little light is shining. I hope that when I tell you this next part, your light will become lit; Your are loved by God. He knows you, every part of you (the good and bad, the perfection and the flaws) and He loves YOU. ~ Megan Seifert