Monday, July 25, 2005

What kind of light are you?

One of my favorite metaphors for the Gospel in all of the Scripture is light. Jesus said he was the Light of the world. John refers to Him as the Light shining into the darkness. Isaiah describes God’s people as those “who sat in darkness.” But the light is here, and has shone on us.

Light is such a wonderful creation. The light of just one little candle can fill a room. The better the light, the more clearly one can see. The more clearly one can see, the better able we are to make good choices.

Several years ago I realized that we might have lost some of the beauty of the Light of the world metaphor to technology. When Jesus told his disciples to let their lights shine, I’m sure he had a candle or oil lamp in mind. Today, we would tend to think in terms of flashlights.

While a flashlight can be mighty handy, especially with the power coming and going with no rhyme or reason, there is an important difference between a flashlight and a lamp. A flashlight can be shined directly into eyes, and thus have the opposite effect from what light ought to do; it can blind.

It strikes me that too often the light of the Gospel is used as a flashlight, shined into someone’s face, and thus blinding them instead of helping them to see.

The light that Jesus brought into the world doesn’t blind people; let’s not use it that way. It helps them to see. It helps them to make good decisions. Let’s let that light shine in and through us.


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