Night had already fallen and a sea of black surrounded us as we traveled the familiar roadway. The desert lay still, merely a darkened abyss as we made our way toward home. The night would occasionally be broken by the approach of headlights, a welcomed break from the eerie shroud of darkness all around us. But just as quickly as they appeared, they would again fade out of sight. We watched as they would pass, leaving their glow in the distance and a trace of red tail lights streaming behind in the rear view mirror. Once again darkness would engulf us. At last we crested the final peak of that mountainous roadway. The curtain of night was drawn and dancing in the valley below was a host of shimmering and twinkling lights to welcome us back home.
Called to be the light
Lights! They are used to cast a certain warmth, create an environment, provide clear navigation, and illuminate our intended gaze. They establish our footing, capture our focus, mark our course, and even add to occasions of fanfare and celebration. Lights! They are used to guide us, to ease our tasks, and make our destination sure. It is no wonder that Jesus referred to Himself as “the Light of the world’ (John 8:12). We too are called to be the light! In so doing, we help navigate lost souls toward home.
The invention of the light bulb has been one of the most impactful in terms of its effect on making everyday life more convenient. Although credited to Thomas Alva Edison in 1879, the “bright idea” of the incandescent light bulb was actually the culmination of a series of small improvements spanning more than 40 years. It was not until 1906 however, when the machining and manufacturing capabilities were such, that General Electric produced the first tungsten filament, extended use light bulb. Although some slight modifications and improvements have continued since then, the light bulb has remained effective and useful for its intended purpose, to light up the dark places!
As lights, we also have an intended purpose. Our light, the light of Christ within us, should be shining in such a way that we are obviously effective. Matthew 5:14-16 says this,
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden; Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”Matthew 5:14-16
These verses remind me of the childhood Sunday School song, This Little Light of Mine, which boldly states, I’m gonna’ let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine! Oh, that our goal for each day of life would be, Shine, Jesus Shine!
What message are we sending
Lights! They send a message of urgency and importance that cannot be ignored. We are forced to notice them as they dispel the darkness with the brilliance of light. What message are we sending to a darkened world, lost in sin, and separated from the God that can give them a clear direction for life? Are we allowing the light of Christ to shine brilliantly from our character, words, and behavior? Are we doing so with a sense of urgency and importance? Are we intentional and shining brightly on purpose as if to locate and rescue those who have lost their way? If not, we should be!
One of my favorite places on earth is the airfield. As a young girl, I would occasionally accompany or visit my father while at work there. I learned to love the sights, smells, and sounds of aviation, but none so much as the glow of the multi-colored lights that line the runway at night. Their festive colors signal the planes with directional cues and help the pilots to safely navigate the landing strip or taxi out for take-off without incident. Those runway lights, along with the rotating beam coming from the air traffic control tower are visible for miles and a most welcomed sight as the landing gear is lowered and the steerage turns the plane toward the tarmac. The bright hues of red, green, amber, blue, and white relay vital information as to the location of the runway and distance in feet to negotiating a safe landing.
Instruments of Light
Lights! They are not needed unless there is darkness or obscurity; the vague, or the hidden. Our world is in the dark; godliness and morality are obscure. Integrity and righteousness are vague and unfamiliar; and truth is hidden. It is clear we are needed! John 1:5 says,
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”John 1:5
We have a definite purpose here as instruments of light, pointing the way to Christ!
We must realize our role as Christians is to help overcome the darkness with our light. As effective sources of the light of Christ, Matthew 4:16 will be realized. It says,
“The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”Matthew 4:16
But we cannot fulfill that purpose apart from Christ. He alone is our light source! Psalm 119:105 says this,
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”Psalm 119:105
By daily spending time in His Word and allowing His Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts, we can effectively live out a life that radiates with light! We can fulfill our intended purpose and guide others toward Him. In so doing, they too can experience His love and light!
Let us live out I John 1:5-7 which boldly declares,
“This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you. God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is the light, we have fellowship with one another; and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”I John 1:5-7
Shine Brightly! Light up this world! Amen.
Read also: Leave a sparkle wherever you go