Monday, July 12, 2010

The Light of the World

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.”

Light—it’s 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; brightly colored neon lights beckon us to come in and shop, eat, repair, relax. You name it, we light it. With all of this technological ability to light up our world, 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 someone across the room, not enough to easily read by. Curious, isn’t it? Today, when we can light the whole world with electric lights, candlelight is very popular.

God’s Holy Word is filled with imagery of light. When God first 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, of course, no electric lights when Jesus walked on the earth, but the impact of His life was electric! People flocked from miles around just to see Him, hear Him speak, and to witness His miracles. The religious leaders of the day were so intimidated by Him that they conspired to put Him to death. Their intent was to extinguish Jesus’ light. For three days it appeared that His light had been extinguished.

Jesus Christ came to light the darkness: the darkness of evil, the darkness of the lack of knowledge of His saving power. He was able to do this by being born as a human, by dying at the hands of men, being raised from the dead and ascending to heaven. So, after He ascended to heaven, what happened to His light here 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).

Now I don’t know about your light, but I know for sure that my light is not electric! My light is feeble, and at times it barely flickers. My light is like one solitary candle, providing a little soft illumination. Picture a room with one small candle burning. It is difficult to see in this poorly illuminated room; 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? Soon we can see one another across the room. Soon the shadows flee; soon the light overcomes the darkness. When, together, we let the light of Jesus shine in us, we can create light enough for all to see. “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”…won’t you shine with me?

Lord of light, help me to remember that my little light, shining in my little world, enables others to see your glory.

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