S52P3 – Outside ourselves: lights on

Matt. 5:13-16

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.  You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

I fondly remember my childhood summer nights, but in all that fun was a little bit of misery.  You see, I was a banquet for mosquitoes.  It did not matter what I wore or how I protected myself, those hungry little bugs always found me.  The problem is that all the insects blend in at night. You cannot see them even if they are right in front of you. You might feel or hear them whiz by your ear, but they otherwise go unnoticed with one exception.  The firefly is always spotted.  It stands out because of its brilliance, a pleasant surprise against a background of night. When the firefly lights up, we are drawn to it and need to get a closer look. When a thousand of them overtake a field, it looks like a miracle. In the darkest night, that little firefly light can make the world beautiful and exciting.

We cannot deny that the world in which we live is full of darkness. Those who walk around entertaining the darkness and ignoring our Lord will blend in.  They will look just like everyone else and everything else.  Those who follow Jesus Christ will be different.  They are the fireflies of the spiritual world.  When a Christian decides to step out and let that light shine, it will garner attention.  People will be drawn to that light, and they will be challenged to see something in it.  Our hope is that they see a miraculous God in the light that we shine.  We do not stand out from the crowd for the sake of ourselves.  We stand out from the crowd for the sake of drawing people closer to our heavenly Father. The same way a child might look at a firefly and wonder how that little insect can create such a bright light, we want the world to look at us and wonder where our light comes from, too.

God not only performs miracles around us, but He performs miracles inside us.  We saw that at the moment of justification, and we see that through the process of sanctification.  One of his great miracles is allowing other people to see himself in us.  The fact that God would have his light manifest in us, that He would let his face shine through ours, is a great miracle.  It has as its purpose the drawing of people away from the darkness and toward the light.  God wants to illuminate the world, and He wants to do that through us.  It should be just as natural for us to shine our light in this dark world as it is for the firefly to glow during those summer nights. Father, make us bold in shining your light for the world to see so that You would be glorified.