“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.” “Be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.” “In [Jesus] was life, and the life was the light of men.” Matthew 5:14-16; Luke 11:35; John 1:4
I watch as the sun, not yet risen, tints periwinkle the inky pre-dawn sky, then sets ablaze in red the underside of clouds. The white hot sun itself is not visible, but its effects are undeniable, captivating in their array of breathtaking beauty. While in this world we do not see God Himself, His light is reflected in numberless ways in His creation, and His people.
To show most gloriously, His work needs to begin in our deeps, behind the masks of “everything is fine” we wear for others. His light must get underneath the layers of appearance we put on to impress, into the darkness of our self-convinced justification of godless attitudes and reckless treatment of others, all the way to the bottom of our self-centered hearts and dark recesses of our thought. When He burns inside and underneath, His refining fire can consume the root of our selfishness, our self-righteousness, our limited vision for what can be. His light cleanses, frees, transforms, and opens wide a new way before us. (Psalm 119:105; Isaiah 1:25; Malachi 3:2; Hebrews 12:29)
In order to shine His light in my world, I must tend the light in my life. Looking after the light takes effort and care in looking to the Light, receiving and applying the word of truth, making sure it fills every crevice of desire and insight. When do I set aside time to take in God’s light for me? I cannot expect to burn bright if I never come to the flame and let it ignite my passion, my drive, my plans.
When once He takes hold, I cannot hide His fire of contagious love and compassion. When He makes me wholly bright, He is evident in my every decision, undertaking, act of service. His light infuses my strategies, my priorities, my interactions with others. In His light I not only see light, but I spread it abroad. As every morning the sun’s light appears gradually, and it brightens until all the air is infused and nothing is untouched by its glory, so God’s people can shine Him to be recognized in every facet of life. (Psalm 36:9; Romans 5:5)
Begin deep, every day, my Lord. Burn warm and bright. Ignite Your glow in me and blaze Your glory in my countenance and actions so I reflect Your grace, power, joy, and love to others. (Numbers 6:26)