One day my neighbor John went out for a jog. He was in his twenties, I was 6. As John started out on his jog, I decided to follow. This decision of mine was not shared with anyone, not even John. He followed a path through the woods. Although I was a good distance behind, I was able to keep him in my sights. He ran a long way.

Looking around I realized two things, it was getting dark, and I had no idea where I was. I looked up and John was nowhere to be seen. I was frightened! All I could do was to sit down and well… cry.

Just then a light! It was my dad! I don’t remember hearing him, just seeing that light. As he hugged me, he told me how worried he had been and how happy he was to find me.

I will never forget our walk home and how his flashlight made the darkness flee. My fear was gone, as I was now being cared for, guided, loved, and my path was no longer dark.

That event caused me to significantly appreciate Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path”. And now to find comfort in the words of the Collect for Aid against Perils from our Book of Common Prayer, which says:

“Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night, for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.”

It was my joy this past Sunday to become confirmed here at Bethesda-by-the-Sea; a church rooted in prayer and God’s Word. A church and parishioners who have always served as beacons of light to our community, state, and beyond for Jesus Christ! Letting this dark world know that Bethesda is here to Love and to Serve.

This world is a dark place, and seemingly getting darker, but I have no fear, for I have hidden God’s Word in my heart. The light of God’s Word, and the love of our Savior Jesus Christ, will guide me, care and love me, and be a light to my path, piercing the darkness of this world.

My prayer for all of us is that we will always have God’s Word, and His love, with us, using it to light, and guide, our way. That we will allow Him to guide and direct us through this dark world. And that Bethesda, and each one of us, will remain as a beacon of light for Jesus Christ, loving and serving this hurting, needy and dark world.

Joseph E. Sanelli
Parish Administrator