Risen Savior Lutheran Church

Pastor Ron Burcham, Risen Savior Lutheran Church

Lately I have noticed that I need to wear my sunglasses more often – not only because of the sun but also for all the fair skinned visitors escaping the cold of the Midwest for the warmth of the Valley. My brother from Michigan was recently in town and when he first put on shorts I was practically blinded by radiance that his legs were emitting!

I really cannot pick on fair- skinned people of the world too much since I am one of them. Up to this past year I was one of the Midwest visitors who found a way to travel west during January or February, just to get a break from the dark cold days of winter. I found it amazing how much better I felt after a couple of days of sunshine. My disposition improved. I had a much better perspective on life. There is something about the warm sun enveloping you when you walk outside that is very therapeutic.

When I lived in the Midwest, the dark days of winter were nothing short of depressing. After weeks of cloudy skies, you could notice the sour disposition of most everyone you met. Some people so desperate for the sun would go to tanning salons for some artificial sunlight, which it turns out is bad for us. Only the pure rays of the sun can really have the positive effect on us, and it is one of the reasons I

love living in the Valley of the Sun.

Jesus once said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) Walking in the light of God’s love means that we never have to walk in the dark. The dark cloud of loneliness is replaced with the promise that God will never leave us or forsake us. The dark cloud of hopelessness is replaced by the promise that, in all things, God is at work for your good. The dark cloud of guilt and regret is replaced with the forgiveness and freedom that is found in cross of Jesus. The light of Jesus’ love changes our disposition, and brings joy to all aspects of our life.

There is something therapeutic about the warmth of the sun; and there is certainly something therapeutic about living in the warmth of the Son, Jesus. The forgiveness that is found in His Name is freeing, and the love He has for us warms our hearts and souls. I pray the sun, and Son, both shine brightly in your life.