“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 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. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father who is in heaven.”
The events that occurred in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day reminded us of the darkness that permeates the world we live in. As we survey the landscape of our nation, it would be easy to despair – because darkness is a frightening thing indeed.
The other night, a sudden movement jolted me awake. I rubbed my eyes and glanced over at the clock on my night stand. It was 4:00am. While still in the process of slowly regaining consciousness, I realized my dog was standing at attention at the foot of the bed. He tried to suppress it, but couldn’t help letting out an involuntary half-bark.
“Ugh, what is your problem?” I muttered.
As I sat up to get a better look, the dog leapt to the floor and stopped near the doorway to our room. I heard him let out a low rumble of a growl.
My emotions suddenly transitioned from annoyance to concern. Our dog doesn’t have a habit of freaking out in the middle of the night for no reason. I squinted my eyes, trying in vain to peer through the complete darkness. What did he hear? Was someone in our house? Were we in danger?
Have you ever found yourself wandering alone in the dark? I’m not sure there’s anything more terrifying. You strain your eyes, perhaps occasionally making out the vague shape of an object, but just as often imagining something that isn’t actually there. Darkness distorts reality and impairs our perception. Only when you turn on a light can you clearly see things as they actually are.
(I did turn on a light, by the way, and didn’t find anything that warranted concern. Thanks, dog.)
I think that’s what Jesus meant when he said that his followers are the light of the world. When we allow Christ’s light to shine through us, we illuminate the darkness so that others can see the wonderful reality of God’s plan of redemption for His children.
Yes, there’s no doubt about the presence of darkness in our world. But let us not lose hope. The darker the night, the brighter the light shines. We were made for such a time as this – commissioned by Jesus Himself to be a reflection of His light during dark times.