Light of the World

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Many children encounter a fear of the dark. Imaginative creatures lurk behind closet doors and under beds until a parent arrives. They reassure there is nothing hiding in their room by turning on the lights and shining a flashlight under the bed and in the closet. The comfort of knowing safety is brought only by seeing.

I am reminded of the Sunday school song taught to me when I was young: “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.” We were instructed to proudly hold our index finger high, symbolizing a bright shining candle, for all to see. The song goes on to sing: “Hide it under a bushel, no, I’m going to let it shine” and “Don’t let Satan blow it out, I’m going to let it shine, let it shine!”

Later, I learned that song was applicable to my adult life. Matthew 5:14-16 says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” I imagine my index finger shining bright in the darkest of corners and being seen from miles away. Revealing unknown things in the darkness and bringing the light, a safety, and in that safety, a hope. I should not hide the fact that I am a Christ follower. Christ is the true light of the world, and it is his light in us.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to the days of singing Sunday school songs and go back to only fearing what’s under the bed. The older I get, the more I become aware of the sin in this world, and this world seems to get a little darker and more familiar with sin as time progresses. There is evermore an urgency to let my light shine so that others may see it shining, only to want it for themselves.

When in a dark room, with no light, it is nearly impossible to see. My family took annual vacations to the Black Hills of South Dakota, visiting the rock formed faces at Mt. Rushmore as well as touring and spelunking the many caves that have been formed under the ground there. The caves are abundant with crystals of all sizes, smooth rock surfaces, and the sounds of dripping water. In the deepest parts of the caves, the light from the outside cannot penetrate and reflect in and unto the walls. In one particular tour, we blew out our lights. It was total darkness. I was unable to even see my hand inches away from my face. People who live their lives without Christ, do not know it, but they are in the dark. People, who are in the dark, cannot see the truth.

Graciously, God has provided a charted map of instructions to bring light and truth. The author of Psalm 119:105 describes the Bible as being “a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” My heart has felt a heaviness concerning many of the recent legalizations of sin in the United States of America. There is a darkness that looms over the ones who have not accepted the light of Christ. There is confusion, anger, and blatant sin. Now, every human has fallen short of the glory of God, but when there is acceptance, repentance, and study of the Word of God, truth emerges. It is only through love by our words and actions can we share this light. Will it always be received with grace? Unfortunately, no.

I have found comfort in being around other Christ followers and studying God’s Word. There is a push to press on, to not give up hope, and to evermore hold my index finger high to light the darkness for those who are lost, pointing in the direction of Christ. May God provoke you and me to love like He does as we take hold of the commission granted to us and “let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

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