You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lamp stand, and it shines on all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16, Common English Bible).
I initially planned for this reading was going to move in a bit of a different direction but when I was looking for the picture I was going to use for this post. As I was looking I encountered a picture tied to a blog post that said, “Why This Little Light of Mine is a Terrible Song.” I went to the blog and what I read immediately changed my mind about this post. If you want to read it I will save you the trouble of looking. Here is the URL: http://www.johnbarrettblog.com/little-light-mine-terrible-song/.
I confess, I didn’t read Barrett’s whole post and perhaps I should have but his initial argument annoyed me and I stopped. The initial argument he claims makes “This Little Light of Mine” a terrible song focuses on the word “Little.” He claims that Jesus didn’t come to place a little light inside of us and instead it is a big light.
That little light is exactly what makes this song attractive to me. I still remember in my Navy days, standing watch on the bridge of the USS Mt. Whitney and looking up at the night sky and seeing more stars than one could see just about anywhere on land. Or, to look out from this ship that when standing on a pier and looking up towers over you and at see you look out twelve miles in any direction and see nothing but water and feel the ship bouncing around like a toy boat in a bathtub. If you haven’t been there you might not understand but the word I have often used for it is, insignificant. All those stars and all those planets. When compared to the universe, even the planet I am on, the planet that helps those feelings of insignificant exist is, itself, insignificant.
When we start to see ourselves as insignificant it doesn’t take long for ideas to creep into our heads like, “Because I am just one person and I am insignificant, what can I do?” It might even make me think about that little light I have in me is exactly what Barrett argues, insignificant.
But do you know what? I learned another lesson in the Navy that seems to apply here. Back in those days I was a smoker (no this isn’t about not smoking and it isn’t something I am proud to have done). At night we couldn’t light a cigarette outside because the light from that cigarette lighter or that match could be seen for miles. Even to smoke outside at night was discouraged because the glow of the coal could be seen. If something as insignificant as the flame of a cigarette lighter or the glow of the coal from a cigarette can be seen from miles away, that little light isn’t so significant after all.
For those who haven’t been in an environment light that, think about this. It is 10:00 P.M. and a storm is raging outside and suddenly the lights go out. Having learned proper lessons from the Boy Scouts you are prepared and know the location of a candle and matches. You light first the match and then the candle. The little light from the candle makes all the difference. Can you see enough to follow a cookbook recipe? Probably not. Can you see well enough to read a typical Bible? Again, probably not. But with that one candle in a normal size room you can see your way to move around the room safely. With that one candle you can see the faces of most of those in the room. That one seeming insignificant light makes a very significant difference.
The same is true for the light in the song and the light in our lesson for the day. I am one person. Can I really make a difference? If people see the light of Christ, the Light of the World shining from you in your community, in a dark world, you will make a difference today and always.
“This little light of mine. I’m going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”
How do you let your little light shine in the world? You are not insignificant and neither is your light, little though it may be. You matter. Let your light shine.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Peace,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved