Tag Archives: light

Second-hand Light

 

IMG_0310

A few days ago, after what seemed like hours at the mall trying to run down the perfect gift for my mother in law, I carried my packages out into a now dark parking lot outside Macy’s, started my car, and headed out onto Baker View Rd.

I’d gone east on Baker View for at least half a mile before my first red light. One other car waited in front of me at the stop light.

The guy in that car suddenly got out of his car and approached my vehicle. My heart rate jumped into emergency mode. Was the man upset with my driving? Was he going to tell me off? Assault me?

But then, he pointed at the front of my car, and pantomimed turning on lights.

Oh my goodness, I’d never turned on my lights! I’d been driving un-illuminated all the way from the mall. I hadn’t noticed because I’d been surrounded by the glow of ambient light from businesses, Christmas lights, and other vehicles.

I waved a thanks and the man climbed back into his car just in time for the green light. “Lord, thank You for sending this man to tell me about my lights.”

As I drove home, it occurred to me that there is a powerful spiritual application for this experience.

When surrounded by light, an individual’s awareness of their own darkness is dimmed.

I suspect this is the case with many church-goers, operating each day, guided only by others’ light. Unaware that there is no life and light from God’s Spirit within themselves.

I think this is equally true for those secular people who enjoy the blessings—though fading—of a once-Christian nation.

IMG_3187

And in this season of light: the light of God’s advent, the truth contained in our Christmas music, the message of joy—He is born, the Divine Christ Child!— ringing out from churches, it is a good time to ask ourselves: do I possess the light of God’s Presence that comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit, which came upon me when I placed my faith in the Person and work of Christ on the cross of redemption?

Or do I merely enjoy the ‘second-hand’ blessing of light shed on me as a result of other people’s faith?

2nd Corinthians 4:6 says: “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.”

 

Enjoyment of the lovely aspects of the church: the music, the praise, the fellowship, an inspiring message, does not make one a Believer.

Adhering to certain Christian tenets does not make one a Believer.

Participating in ministry activities, taking communion, repeating Christian doctrinal statements does not send the light of Christ’s presence into your soul.

Only a genuine recognition of your inability to make yourself acceptable through your own efforts, and a trusting in what Jesus did for you on the cross, makes you a Believer.

Jesus said: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     (John 8:12 NIV Bible)

IMG_0310

 

 

 

Let It Shine!

My mother-in-law had a nice fluffy, knit hat that she didn’t use anymore, so she gave it to me. I liked the hat the way it was: all black with a little black tassel at the top.

But then I thought, what if I sewed on a few sequins? That would kind of make the hat look fancier.

So I spent a couple of evening hours doing just that. Sewing sequins on the tassel and on the front of the headband.

Funny how sequins work. They act like tiny prisms, bending clear white light so that all the colors of the rainbow sparkle from the tiny clear plastic disks.

Without the prisms, the black cap looks…black.

We can be like a prism. We, ourselves, aren’t the light.

We are just physical beings through which God’s light can pass.

But the prism of our unique personalities, gifts, and experiences bend the light to show forth God’s glory.

If…

… we allow the Lord to penetrate our souls,

and if we are willing to be used by Him.

This Christmas, let us keep in mind that even during a holiday we are still “prisms.”

“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 a 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 in heaven.” (Matt 5:14-16 NIV Bible)