Light it up

I drifted off to sleep last night with a song from my Sunday School days echoing in my memory – “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…”  When I was 5 years of age, I was not really sure what it meant to ‘let it shine’  but Mrs. Hoferman was enthusiastically leading us so I sang joyfully, too.  As I thought about that song last night I asked my 67 year old self – “Jerry, are you letting the Light shine?”  It’s not about being a person of dazzling personality, intellectual brilliance, or great accomplishment.  The Light shines best in me when Jerry is hidden in the radiance of Christ!

What a great truth we find in these inspired words – “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7, NIV)  

That is an amazing, challenging statement of mission and purpose for each of us at the beginning of this new week.  I pray, “Shine, Jesus, shine through me!”  We shine most brightly when we are at peace with God, resting in His amazing grace, full of His love. In that secure place we have no need to judge, condemn, or criticize. Instead, our lives become a living invitation to know the One who gives meaning, purpose, and hope to people. I find it so tragic that the witness of so many Christians is made up of harsh judgements of the culture in which we live.

I am not blind to the sins of our land. Americans worship Self, the modern idol. Materialism is the grand pursuit of millions. Sex fills our pop culture. And darkness has overtaken millions, leaving them unknowing victims of the Evil One who steals life.  We must not add to the darkness with words that give no hope. Rather, my Christian friend, we must walk so closely to the radiance of Christ Jesus that we become points of light wherever we go.

When we complicate Christianity, loading it up with guilt and shame, creating long lists of ‘ought to’s and gotta be’s’ for ourselves and others, the real radiance of His Light is blocked.   Jesus says that there is a radiance that shines into these dark corners from Christians committed to being good- loving, kind, humble, serving, generous, encouraging, authentic.  The Message paraphrases His words found in Matthew’s Gospel.  

“You’re here to be light,
bringing out the God-colors in the world.
God is not a secret to be kept.
We’re going public with this,
as public as a city on a hill.

If I make you light-bearers,
you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you?
I’m putting you on a light stand.
Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—
shine!
Keep open house; be generous with your lives.
By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God,
this generous Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16, The Message)  

Re-read that commission and calling.  It may seem that our light, by itself, is pitifully small but when combined with millions of other Light-bearers we can light up the world.

Let’s circle back to a thought I touched on when I began.  We reflect the True Light. Like the moon that has no radiance of its own, we are to reflect the true Light, Jesus.  Does He shine through you? Is there a wholeness about you that lets the Radiance of Christ reflect brightly onto your family, friends, and neighbors? 

Science has discovered that it is the sun that makes life possible. The energy of the light of the sun shines on our earth, is transformed by natural processes, and ultimately gives energy to the world. What an illustration of spiritual life. There is no life apart from Christ, Who is our life, our hope, our joy. 

Here is a word from the Word. May the truth help you see the glorious mission and destiny God has for you – to be a light in dark places“For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be sober. Night is the time for sleep and the time when people get drunk. But let us who live in the light think clearly, protected by the body armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.

For God decided to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. He died for us so that we can live with him forever, whether we are dead or alive at the time of his return. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:5-11, NLT)   

This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine …
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

(Video of this blog at this link)

_______________

This Little Light Of Mine

(A fun song for this Monday morning)

This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine let it shine let it shine

Hide it under a bushel no
I’m gonna let it shine
Hide it under a bushel no
I’m gonna let it shine
Hide it under a bushel no
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine let it shine let it shine

Don’t let Satan blow it out
I’m gonna let it shine
Don’t let Satan blow it out
I’m gonna let it shine
Don’t let Satan blow it out
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine let it shine let it shine

Let it shine till Jesus comes
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine tell Jesus comes
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine tell Jesus comes
I’m gonna let it shine
Let it shine let it shine let it shine

Harry Dixon Loes

© Words: Public Domain

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