Shine The Light Of Jesus & Watch The Shadows Disappear!
One of the many things I love about my house is the fact that it's oriented so that most of the larger windows in the back of the house face east. Today as I watched the sun rise through all of those eastward facing windows, I had an epiphany of sorts.
Before the sun rose, there was nothing but shadows, vague shapes of trees, hints of what was really out there beyond my windows, but nothing more. But as the light began to dawn, I could begin to make out more clearly what was actually there. Colors came into view, depth, texture, the intricacies of those former vague shapes.
Sometimes your imagination can run wild in the darkness, making the shapes into things that are scarier, and more dreadful than they are.
The light reveals their true nature, though. The light turns a shadowy demon, ready to pounce on you into an overgrown bush. The light transforms a menacing figure watching you in your house into a gently swaying tree.
There's a lesson in this for those of us who would call ourselves followers of Jesus.
Jesus told his followers:
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
As Christians, we ought to be the kinds of people who shine the light of Christ wherever we go. We are called by Jesus to be light in the world, to dispel the darkness of fear and doubt that others might be holding on to in dread. We should help people see the world better, to calm them, give them hope and peace.
But far too many of us do as Jesus says not to do in the verses above: We hide our light under a bowl. We contribute to fear and doubt through our negativity, our constant need to fight with everyone about everything.
Every single day I see posts on Facebook from Christians who are calling for boycotts, defaming politicians they don't agree with, picking fights with anyone who will dare challenge their ideas. And they might even think that in some weird way they are shedding some light on things.
It seems to me that if the light you are shining into the world isn't revealing Jesus... it might not be light after all. It might just be more shadows. The light of Christ should draw people to Jesus. It should dispel their fears, and doubts. It should give them hope and peace. Anything else isn't the light of Christ.
May you shine the light of Christ wherever you go today. Help others to see Jesus better, to experience him more fully in the world. Be the light of the world you were meant to be. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.