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The Upper Room devotional reflection for Thursday, January 5, 2023, comes to us from Zach Schaar of Ohio.

28 He was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. 29 Moses came down from Mount Sinai. As he came down from the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant in his hand, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, the skin of his face was shining, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called to them; and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses spoke with them. 32 Afterward all the Israelites came near, and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai.

Exodus 34:28-32NRSV



Life with young children is a blessing, but it can also be challenging. My wife and I have worked diligently over the years to manage our busy schedule while making sure to incorporate plenty of time with our children in the process. One of our family activities is grocery shopping. Every other Saturday we drive to a bustling market where the aisles seem more like highways traffic jams. With the girls in the cart, we go up and down the aisles, dodging other shoppers while my wife grabs our items and marks them off the list.

A few weeks ago, as we were shopping, a man stopped me to compliment my beautiful family. He noticed our playful nature as we sped up and down the busy aisles of the market. His words sanK directly into my heart, and I knew God was to thank for them. When we spend time with God regularly, we will radiate God’s goodness, just as Moses did. The joy this man noticed in our family was a result of our time spent with God. Despite our busyness, we can allow God to fill our lives with divine radiance. Just as Moses discovered, we can find great joy in spending time with the Lord.



Zachs’ reflection challenges to ask ourselves: Do others see the “Joy of the Lord” radiating from me? As people of faith, Christ challenges us to let our light, our hope, our joy shine so that it might impact the lives of others. While we might face challenges, at various parts of our day, we can still have a joyful and joy-filled disposition. Christ’s call for us to let our light shine does not ignore the hardships we face, nor the moments we feel discouraged. Rather, it is a call to tap into our reservoir of joy to overcome the sadness, despair, and dread that seek to take root within our hearts. May today be the day we begin to allow our light, our hope, and our joy to shine brighter than ever that those who cross our paths are encouraged.

--Pastor Anthony


Dear Lord, help us to radiate your love to others, wherever we are and wherever we go. Amen

-- Zach Schaar

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