Last spring as I looked for things to fill my kids Easter baskets I found some plastic chickens in the dollar section. They were fun to squish around in your hands and when you hit a certain spot they would light up. I bought pink, green and blue chickens … one for each of my children. Easter came and went and one day I realized those chickens were still in my desk drawer. I had forgotten to include them in the baskets.
I decided to save the chickens for another time and almost every time I sat at my computer I would find myself playing with one of the chickens. I realized that the green chicken was broken because, as I rolled it around in my hand, it never lit up. The blue chicken would light up if you tried really hard … but the pink one? The pink one always lit up. It never failed. In fact it seemed to kind of sparkle … like it was showing off for the other chickens.
One evening I was up late writing a lesson for a mother/son retreat where I was going to be speaking. My son, Jacob, came in and asked what I was going to be speaking on. He was going on the retreat with me and so I began to tell him what I hoped the boys would learn.
I wanted the boys to know that when you have accepted Christ as your Savior and the Holy Spirit lives in you, your life becomes different. You can shine. In fact, when you spend time with the Lord, you can sparkle. Moses did. Exodus 34 tells the story of Moses going up Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. It says:
“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was RADIANT because he had spoken with the Lord”.
Later in that chapter it tells us that each time Moses came back from speaking with the Lord he had to put a veil over his face because it was so radiant. Moses was shiny.
I told Jacob (while absentmindedly playing with the chicken in my hands) that I needed to come up with a demonstration for the boys of something that glowed. Jacob said … “you mean like that chicken?”.
YES, like the chicken! How funny that I was struggling to come up with something to show them and it was right there in my hands.
The boys at the retreat LOVED the chickens. I showed them the green one that just sat there … doing nothing. It was fine. Cute. But it didn’t light up.
I showed them the blue one that, if pressed really hard, lit up.
And I showed them the pink one whose glow you could see throughout the room.
I told them we needed to be the pink sparkly chicken, shining the light of God in us into the dark world. God sent his Son Jesus into the world for us. When we trust/believe in Him, He sends the Holy Spirit to live in us. We no longer are just a regular chicken (so to speak) … we are a chicken that can glow, that shines, that sparkles. Hopefully we don’t have to be hit too hard (like the blue chicken) to light up. The joy and knowledge of Christ working in our lives should spill over as light into the world.
And remember, Moses became radiant when he “spent time with the Lord”. It’s almost like those solar powered lamps that need sunlight in order to work properly. We need “Son"light to sparkle.
Recently I had the privilege of hearing Christine Caine speak in Houston. She told the story of buying a flashlight for her daughter. As they were checking out her daughter, eager to try out her new flashlight, said “Mom, can we go find the dark?”. That is exactly how we should live … as lights who shine for Christ. We must take THE light into a dark world.
Matt Chandler put it this way in a recent sermon … he said:
Really the call of God on your life and my life is not that we would bring people to hear professional ministers but rather that we would be the salt and LIGHT in the world where we live.”
Maybe you have seen the movie, “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium”. In the movie, Mr. Magorium owns an amazing toy store. He was growing old and had decided to give the store to his worker, a young lady named Mahoney. Mahoney didn’t feel like she was worthy or able to run the toy store. At one point in the movie she asked … “When you look at me, what do you see? Do you see a sparkle … like something reflective of something bigger that’s trying to get out?”.
That is the same question we can ask ourselves. Are we sparkling? Glowing? Lighting up the world with the radiance of Christ? Is the Jesus that lives inside of us shining through us?
In the movie Mahoney doesn’t feel like she has a sparkle. Sometimes we act like that too. Maybe we think everybody else is sparkly for the Lord, but not us. We feel inadequate. We don’t see the sparkle or reflection of His greatness in us. Mahoney felt this way and almost gave the store away! But here is the great news … we are made in the image of God. We are meant to reflect everything about Christ including His glory.
Not too long ago I showed my adult Sunday School class my chickens. We talked about how some of us are the blue chickens that you really have to hit for them to light up. Some are the green ones who are fine just staying green. The encouragement from the lesson was to be more like the sparkly pink chicken, lighting up a dark world. When we finished I asked another teacher to close us in prayer. As he prayed he said what might be my new favorite prayer ever … one that can be prayed every single day …
He said, “Lord, make us pink sparkly chickens”.
And all the people said “Amen”.
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. Isaiah 60:1