Nature of Light
Ms. Starla Luke
Shine, Jesus, Shine,
fill this land with the Father’s glory
Blaze, Spirit, Blaze, set our hearts on fire
Flow, river, flow, flood
With grace and mercy
Send forth your Word
Lord, and let there be Light!
This chorus is a prayer of sorts pleading to our Heavenly Father to send forth His Light.
How Does He Send Forth His Light?
Yahweh has promised in Isa 42:6, 7 “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison, and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”
So, even as we cry out to God to send His Word and Light – we must remember our call to be the light in the world. We may think that we are incapable of completely influencing the wide ‘world’ as we understand it. The ‘world’ Jesus intended for us to influence is the immediate circle of family and friends, our neighborhood and people we encounter everyday.
How can I be a ‘light’ where I am placed? What is the ‘nature’ of light that needs to be part of my life? Metaphors used in the Word of God are not without reason. It is expected of us to project the nature and qualities of light as understood by us.
Nature of Light
1. It makes no noise
A beam of light, whatever direction it travels, does so noiselessly and quietly, making no loud announcements - yet covering with light all of the area it falls on. Matthew 5:14 says that we are the ‘light’ of the world.
We are expected to shine for Jesus, often times very quietly and without making a sound or fuss. Some people like to work for the Lord or be effective only when they have an audience. That is not what is expected of us. Jesus said “that others may ‘see’ your good works/ actions; not ‘hear’. There are ‘lights’ who only want to tell how powerfully they blaze – that there is not even a flicker left by the time they are done with bragging!
We actually reflect the light of God as we walk around, travel about and live our lives before others. We must pray and ask God to allow this light to shine even brighter as the darkness of the world descends around us. If we walk with Him, talk with Him we will become a mirror image of His light and love.
2. Light gives direction
In Luke 2: 32, Simeon, the priest, who dedicated baby Jesus on the eighth day of his birth announced that Jesus would be a “light” to the Gentiles and ‘glory’ to ‘Israel’. Simeon was prophetically stating that Jesus would illuminate the Gentile world in such a way that those who received Him would become the sons of God and that they in turn would radiate light wherever they went.
Light illuminates what was once dark; it reveals things that are hidden. We have been called to radiate His light and thereby show the way and lead. When we simply shine and glow in this dark world, others will see us and follow us even from a distance. Our lives must shine as a spotlight or as solutions to many common problems experienced by our friends and neighbors.
Do we bring in a sense of direction where we are placed? Amidst challenges and confusion, does our presence and our words bring in a sense of hope and clarity? If yes, then praise God for allowing us to shine as lights in specific contexts.
On my recent trip to Aizawl, on behalf of the Bible Society of India, I was amazed at the influence the church has exerted over the society. The Honorable Chief Minister of Mizoram Pu Lal Thanhawla gratefully acknowledged that, "we were head hunters, it was the Bible and Christ that made us fishers of men". The missionaries who went into Mizoram a hundred years ago with the Light of the gospel surely paid a price as they lived their lives bringing light, hope and transformation into the then dark world. The Chief Minister's challenge to the church in Mizoram today is, "Even if we can't all become full time Christian workers, let us all be full time Christians!"
Another fact that astounded us was that 'decision makers' of the land were mostly Bible believing Christians. Mizoram enjoys much peace and harmony under their godly direction. We were given to understand that a person wanting to contest any election in the state, no matter what position he/she ran for, had to be a teetotaller, a regular church goer - a person with good standing in Christian faith! This decision came by because of the influence of the church.
Besides all this, today, the Mizoram Government has appointed an Ethics Committee, consisting of Church leaders and prominent citizens. Rev.C. Rosiamma, former Vice-President, Bible Society of India, has been a member of this Ethics Committee that is constituted to check any irregularities in the ethical and moral conduct of the elected members and other high officials in the government! What a powerful testimony of the church or Christian being a 'light' in a dark world!
3. Light attracts attention
In darkness, a tiny ray of light will draw attention to itself without asking. We do not have to ask people to look at light when it is turned on - it just happens naturally. Likewise, a Christian family is the light in a non-Christian neighborhood. We don’t have to attempt to show off how bright and sparkling we are - all we have to so is SIMPLY SHINE! This will in turn draw people to Jesus, the Light of the world.
4. Light purifies and heals
We ought to be cleansing agents where we are - the Word of God in us must purify us and we in turn must become people who will cleanse our surroundings. What do people who use filthy language do when you and I are around them? Are people more cautious and careful with their behavior when you are around? Praise God if they are, this is because your light has been shed upon their hearts.
What not do with light
1. Do not hide it:
Mark 4:21 - Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed to shut out the light? Of course not! A lamp is put placed on a stand, where its light will shine.”
We who are called to be light must be able to influence others around us – if not we do not represent Christ well. If a lamp or torch does not help people see, then it is useless. Does your life and mine help others find meaning in life? Has our light been extinguished by the many ‘baskets’ of stubbornness, indifference, bitterness, pride, disobedience, personal agendas etc. Any or all of these and many more such ‘baskets’ could forever dim our light and also keep others from benefiting from us!
Care must be taken not to let our light remain a mere flicker – it needs to be kept burning brilliantly. We can do so by sharing our light with others. Not lighting other lives around us dims our own light.
2. Do not keep quiet about its source:
We must explain our light and its source to others. By not doing so we are depriving others from enjoying for themselves the privilege of becoming a light themselves. All we must do is lead people to the actual Source or the True Light!
3. Do not remain unplugged:
Solar powered gadgets receive energy from natural sources and burn for a long time, so long as they are plugged to re-charge from the source!
Similarly, we too are reflectors of His light – Jesus wishes to reflect His light to the unbelieving community through you and me. Are we ready to receive light from Him? Are we willing to allow ourselves to be plugged in to this Source.
The longer we remain plugged into the Source, the greater will we reflect His light. Our Source is Jesus and Jesus IS the Light of the world.
Prayer: Light of my life, thank you for your marvelous light that has lit up my life. Help me to reflect your glory and goodness at all times. I am sorry for the times when my light has not shined as it ought to have. Forgive me, I pray, and help me to be a good reflector of your light to those around me. Amen.