By Pastor Chris Wheatley, Senior Director of Pastoral Care Programming for Presbyterian Homes & Services
Today we begin a new devotional series at Presbyterian Homes called Light for the Way. Our goal is to deepen our focus on scripture. Each week we’ll provide an examination of a biblical reading, being mindful of our shared service to older adults. Thank you for engaging with this series as we draw closer to our core Christian Ministry value, and our pledge to seek wisdom through prayer and reflection.
Some of you may have already noticed that the name for the series comes from a well-known verse in the Psalms: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (119:105, KJV). The whole of Psalm 119 is noteworthy for being by far the longest chapter in the Bible at 176 verses. It also contains some of the most ambitious poetry, with verses beginning with each letter of the Hebrew alphabet and many repeating patterns.
But more famously, the verse serves as a song lyric that has inspired Christians for decades. And it’s a profound way to look at the guidance given by God’s Word. Because when most of us ask questions about the future, we are looking for a floodlight. We are looking for every step of our future to be revealed and the distant goal easily seen from a mile away. This powerful verse suggests that God has given us a personal lamp instead. It shows us only the next step, because it is a light that travels with us. We are not shown the far-flung future, but our present, and what we need to do now. In order to see where the path goes next, we must first trust enough to take this step.
This seems like the right image for us as we begin this journey. As a ministry, we make our plans, knowing that we must be ready to adapt. As individuals, we have at best a general idea of what we want from the future. But God invites us to take a single next step, right now, to love the people in front of us, trusting that God is with us, wherever and in whatever way that might be.
In addition to Light for the Way, you can find reflections, devotions, music, and other resources on the Pastoral Care website. We suggest saving the link or bookmarking the page, so you can check back often.