Isaiah 60:1-3 Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
The Light of the World
Light—it is available at the flip of a switch. Even in the darkness of night, we can light a room, an entire building, or the outdoors as brightly as daylight. We have lights in every room, on nearly every street corner, and even our highways. Businesses are brightly lit, even when closed; neon lights beckon us to shop, eat, repair, and relax. You name it, we light it. With all of this electric light, do you think it strange that candles are so popular? Didn’t they, after all, become obsolete when
Edison invented the electric light? A candle gives only a faint glow in a
darkened room, not enough to clearly see across the room, nor to easily read. Curious, isn’t it? Today, when we light the whole world with
electricity, candlelight is popular.
God’s Holy Word is filled with imagery of light. When God created the world, He said, Let there be light and there was light. In John 1:4&5, Jesus is referred to as light. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There were no electric lights when Jesus walked on earth, but the impact of His life was electric! People flocked from miles around to see Him, to hear Him speak, and to witness His miracles. The religious leaders were so intimidated, they conspired to put Him to death. Their intent was to extinguish Jesus’ light. For three days it appeared His light had been extinguished.
Jesus Christ came to light the darkness: the darkness of evil, the darkness of ignorance of His saving power. He accomplished this by being born as a human, by dying at the hands of men, being raised from the dead and ascending to heaven. After He ascended, what happened to His light on earth? His spirit came to kindle a light in each of us. Matthew wrote the following about the believers in Christ: You are the light of the world…. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (5:14a &16 NKJ).
Frequently, I have been the recipient of good works. When my children were small, my husband and I were young and poor. Others shed their lights on us in many ways: gifts of food, money, hand-me-down clothing, time and assistance. While each gift was small, together they dispelled the darkness of doubt, poverty, and fatigue. More importantly, by reflecting God’s love, each giver revealed to us more of God’s light. Over the years I have realized this: In sharing God’s light, I can chase away dark times for others by speaking kind words, sharing my time, and giving my money generously.
God asks me to light the world so that they may see [my] good works and glorify [my] Father in heaven. Now I don’t know about your light, but I know that my light is not electric! My light is feeble, and at times it barely flickers. I don’t have thousands of dollars to share, but I can share what I do have. I don’t speak before millions on television, enlightening lives with Christ’s gospel. Instead, my light is like one solitary candle, providing soft illumination. When those who experience my small glow inquire about its source, I can fill their hearts with the lights of salvation and abundant life.
Picture a room with one small candle burning. Vision is difficult; there is more darkness and shadow than light. But what if a second candle is lit? What if your little light joins with mine? What if others, one by one, add their own little glow to our lights? What if all Christians make a conscious decision to let the light of Christ shine through them so others will glorify Him? Individually, we do not electrify the world, but together, our cumulative little lights chase away the darkness. Soon we clearly see across a once dark room. Soon the shadows flee; soon the light overcomes the darkness. When, together, we let the light of Jesus shine through us, we create light enough for all to see God’s glory. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…won’t you shine with me?
Lord of light, remind me that my little light enables others to glimpse your glory.