Light is a very important aspect of life. It helps us to see, to find our way when darkness is all around us, provides life, and so much more.
D. L. Moody told the story of a passenger on an Atlantic steamer who lay in his bunk with a severe case of seasickness during a raging storm. Suddenly he heard the cry, “Man overboard!” The ill passenger thought, “May God help that poor fellow, but there’s nothing I can do.”
Then he thought, “I can at least put my lantern in my small window,” and with an effort he did so. The man was finally rescued. In recounting the story the next day, the rescued man said, “I was going down in the darkness for the last time when someone put a light in a porthole. It shone on my hand, and a sailor in the lifeboat grabbed it and pulled me in.”
Jesus said, “You are the light of the world …. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.” Matthew 5:14-15 (NRSV)
The faith of a Christian is to be strong. With Jesus Christ at the center of who we are, we are called upon to provide hope and guidance to a hurting world. The light of the faith we have in him is to shine out.
Far too often people see faith as a private affair. “Jesus and me” is the motto that is heard far too often. But when we keep our faith in Jesus Christ a private matter, we are doing a grave disservice to our Lord and to a hurting world.
The phrase that needs to be put forth is “Jesus and we!” People all around us are hurting, drowning in a sea of fear, anxiety and uncertainty. In Jesus Christ, we have been given the kind of hope, assurance and peace that passes all understanding. Therefore, we can be the beacon of light that helps direct others to the Author of that hope and assurance.
When it may seem as though there is nothing you can do to help someone, simply remember that you can let the light of your faith in Jesus Christ shine forth. You may provide the only illumination in an otherwise seemingly hopeless situation.
As Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NRSV)
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.