I was one of those kids who counted the days to go to Ne-So-Dak Lutheran Bible Camp, near Peever, SD where I grew up. We went to family camp each year, which I loved, but I could not wait to go to ‘camp on my own!’ Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s in a town of 200 people…well, there was not much to do in the summer. We didn’t have softball, swim, or soccer teams (at least the girls didn’t!), so camp is what I lived for each summer.
Finally, the summer before I entered 5th grade, I was old enough to attend a two-night Bible camp without my family (yes, times have changed- now, our 2-night camp at FLBC is for 1st and 2nd graders!)
The waiting was excruciating. I was going to camp in July, but the day school was out in May, I packed my bags. One day I was telling a friend about camp, and she told her mom what I was doing, and her mom said she could go with me! (Being Christian Science, I was sure her mom did not know we were going to a Lutheran Bible camp!)
July finally came- it was time for camp! We went and we had a blast. In those two short days, we learned and sang. “It only takes a spark to get a fire going,” and “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.” Through worshiping and praying, the light shone in the darkness and Gods’ spirit spoke though our counselors, the program directors and the other campers. My friend and I went to camp together every year after that, feeling the power of the spirit, the love and light of Christ. And low and behold, my friend became confirmed and is an ELCA Pastor today.
During Advent we wait; we wait for the coming of Jesus, the coming of the light, for the word to be made flesh. Waiting for the Messiah can feel excruciating, during dark times of doubt and angst. St John talked about the coming of Jesus as light: “The true light, which enlightened everyone, was coming into the world,” (John 1:9).
As we wait for the coming of Jesus this Advent, ask God to give you proper and adequate light in order to make you a sharer of the light of Jesus, in whatever way you can. Jesus is the only one who can move us out of darkness and into the bright light of God’s glory and forgiveness.
Let your light so shine! And may the God of hope and light be with us, preparing us for the coming of Jesus. Amen.
Margie Fiedler serves as the Executive Director of Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp. She enjoys everything in the out of doors, including polar plunges and the Snow Joke half marathon! She loves traveling and continues to be in awe of God’s creation in beautiful Montana.