“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
April Ice Storm
The third Sunday in April brought an ice storm to our parts. Yes, an ice storm and, yes, smack dab in the middle of April. (On a side note—does anyone have a house they are selling any point south of Michigan because today I am D.O.N.E. with cold weather!) The ice from the storm clung heavily onto branches causing them to fall, taking out many power lines on their way down. We were without power for 2 ½ days or so.
I need light and lots of it!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the dark. I feel like I can’t function correctly. In fact, the one thing I dislike most about winter is the dark! As much as I like light though, I discovered I am picky about what kind of light it is. I know, I know beggars can’t be choosers and I was thankful that we had the little bit of light that was coming out of our flashlights and candles, but it wasn’t enough to make a difference in my psyche.
Also, sometimes it was down-right annoying. Have you ever had someone shine a flash light directly into your eye? It feels like its brightness is burning through your brain and bouncing around inside your skull. Times that feeling by 4 kids playing with flashlights and their beams meeting with your poor fried eyeballs again and again. And, did I mention, one particular little lantern had a strobe option! A STROBE option pulsing painfully through the darkness into our orbital sockets. I mean, why? Why little lantern maker? Why?
Not all light is created equal
But anyway, as I was saying, not all light is created equal. Some is painful. Some is annoying, but then there is some that is beautiful and makes your heart long to have it wash over you. My very soul longed for that kind of light—the wonderful, inviting glow that floods a room and invites one to enjoy its warmth.
What kind of light do you shine for Jesus?
On a much more important scale, we live in a world that is spiritually dark. As Christians, we are supposed to shine the Light of Jesus to this world that NEEDS it desperately. But, maybe there is a difference in the kind of lights we are shining for him?
Could it be that some of us are shining a bright beam of accusation or shame in non believers’ eyes and causing them to turn away in pain or even anger? (We don’t have to raise our hands or anything, but we’ve all seen each others’ Facebook posts, so…) Or maybe we are shining a light, but it’s not very bright, because we are not living for Jesus the way we should? Or maybe it’s just an annoying light? Maybe we’re bragging about our “religion” and our “rules” in an effort to make ourselves look better. All the while, we are looking down on those in the dark for not following the same set of rules. Maybe forgetting that we, too, were once lost in our sin and have been saved by the grace of God and we did absolutely nothing to deserve it.
Shine a welcoming light, so others can come into It
I propose today, for you, and for me, that we shine the kind of light that invites others to come and meet the Savior. The kind that welcomes them and is able to “be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15) We can lovingly and gently explain that Jesus saved us from our sins and that He can save them too. Shine the Light of Jesus in such a way that others can’t help but seek out the Source of that Light and fall in love with Him as we have.
Jesus said we are the Light of the World and we need to reflect His light to those around us who are living in the dark. Let’s do it in such a way that it invites the lost to be found and those who wander in the dark to come to know the Light of the World!
Dear Jesus, thank You for being the Light of the world and letting us know You and reflect Your light. In my heart, that is ALL I want to do, shine a light for You, so that others may know You as You have graciously allowed me. Help me to shine Your light in such a way that others will be drawn to You and accept the precious gift of salvation only You have to offer. Amen