Light in Darkness
It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago. My wife and son took me out to a restaurant called the Salted Pig in Riverside where we feasted on pork bellies (surprisingly delicious, artery-clogging delicacies). When we got home, they brought out a cupcake with a candle lit on top and sang, “Happy Birthday.”
In the dark room the lighted cake became the center of attention.
Jesus called his disciples the “light of the world.” By that, he meant that they too would stand out from the darkness of the world and those around them would be drawn to their light. People look for light when all they see is darkness.
In Revelation, Jesus addresses the church at Ephesus. He praises the church for its doctrinal vigilance and endurance, but then he announces one thing he holds against them: they have abandoned their first love. They no longer express fervent love for Jesus through witnessing in the world.
We often pride ourselves on our faithfulness to biblical truth. Jesus acknowledges his admiration for the church at Ephesus’ ability to sniff out a heretic a mile a way. Yet it is not enough. Our love for Jesus is not just expressed in our faithfulness to biblical doctrine; it is expressed in our faithfulness to proclaim him to the world.
Our problem is we’re content living out our faith in a Christian ghetto among like-minded people who share our beliefs and values. We like that Jesus told us to love one another, but easily forget he called us a “light to the world”. We can’t be that light if we never go into the darkness. A candle lit in a lighted room is hardly noticeable.
Every Christian longs for the end when Jesus will come and make all that is wrong right. That end will not come until the gospel of the kingdom is proclaimed throughout the whole world.
That’s where we come in…the light of our lives is the proclamation of that gospel.
It may come through words, but what Jesus seems most to have in mind is the way we live our lives…it will be dramatically different from the way everyone else lives.
The world is looking for the light, and you and I have been chosen by God to be his light bearers.