Friday Five – Let There Be Light

Today’s Friday Five by Julie at encourages us to find the things that bring light into our lives, even when it seems like there is darkness and danger all around us.

Mission Trip 1

One of the first big projects in my time at this congregation was to accompany a group of high-school youth on a mission trip to Montana. There were many moments of learning and service on that trip, and also moments of good fun and play. On the way from Wisconsin to Montana, we spent a night at a B&B ranch. This photo, taken just before sunset, was one of the moments that made me smile. The light bouncing off the clouds, and the joyful energy of the group – I smile whenever this photo pops up on my computer.


Morning at Sugar Creek Bible Camp. Every summer, I spend a week at this camp with confirmation students. We spend a couple of hours each day together as a group, learning about the unique and special way that God has created each of us. The rest of the day, the students ride horses, paddle canoes, take part in Bible study, worship, and singing… lots of singing. This picture is from the balcony of one of the cabins where pastors stay. I love to sit there early in the morning and watch the morning light.

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I love the colors of the sky at sunset. I can imagine God sitting with a giant set of watercolor paints and splashing the sky with every color imaginable, and colors that go well beyond our imaginations. The subtle shifting of light and color as day fades to night is endlessly fascinating to me. I can feel my entire body slow down and find its own calm.

Light of a different sort. Daily, I am humbled by the unconditional love of these three. Russell, Liza, and Sadie are so generous with their affection – purring, snuggling, entertaining me with their antics. They are so much more generous with me than I deserve. Even on the days I work so many hours that I barely see them, their welcome is warm and wonderful.

One of the ideas that constantly draws me in is the expansiveness of God’s love. In every way, God’s love goes well beyond anything that I can even imagine. I find reminders of that idea all over scripture. It starts with light, and it spreads into all aspects of life.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not understand it.
(John 1:5)

Where can I go from your spirit? If I ascend into heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and travel to the farthest limits of the sea, even there, your hand shall lead me and your right hand shall hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,”  even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.
(Psalm 139:8-12)

The peace of God, that confounds all human understanding keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:7)

There is indeed light that is bigger, more pervasive, and more mysterious, than we can ever imagine. Thanks be to God.



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Barbara Bruneau

Barbara Bruneau is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She is semi-retired, having previously served congregations in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Barbara enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and weaving. She shares her home with cats named Abigail and Bijou.

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