“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.“Matthew 5:14-16
Right now, the world seems very dark. In the US, elections are looming like a dark cloud and whispers of revolution after the election tell us that disruptions will not be over once the election is decided.
The threats of the Coronavirus are once again being touted on the media and communities all over the world are beginning to close again.
Hurricanes have struck the southern Gulf states and wildfires have decimated the West.
Rioting has continued in some areas, and will most likely begin again following the elections on Tuesday. Other parts of the world are feeling the tightening fist of control take advantage of these uncertain days.
Add to these the personal struggles with sickness, joblessness, depression, hunger and poverty, heartbreak, wayward children and those who have run headlong to embrace the darkness, and these days are long and heavy.
A dark, cold winter is coming upon us–something that has nothing to do with the weather outside. A spiritual darkness is over our world and it has settled over the US.
My daily readings in the Bible have brought me to the minor prophets and the book of Revelation. The book of Micah speaks about the fact that most of the prophets were unfaithful, speaking lies to appease the people and to gain a benefit for themselves. And Revelation 10 (my reading today) speaks of the unthinkable judgment that is still in the future for the world.
While the darkness of the world can have an anxiety inducing effect upon those who do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior, it should not have this effect upon the children of God. As Jesus said in Matthew 5 above, we are a light in this dark world, like a city upon a hill that glows with life. We are like a lamp in a dark house that gives light and hope and joy to the home.
Jesus is our hope. The prophets of the Bible didn’t only speak about judgment that was coming for sin, they also spoke of the hope and restoration of a new world for God’s people. This world is not our home. We all need to keep saying this to ourselves as we think about what is happening–This world is not my home!
I’m not speaking about running away, or about an ejection button that allows me to disengage from the world and its darkness and fears. I am saying that this broken world can never give us hope or safety or comfort the way that Jesus Christ does. And while we are here, for as long as Jesus holds off on his return, we ought to be holding out that light to those still in the darkness, longing for hope and seeking desperately for peace.
Hold out your lamp. Call your lost neighbors to the warm glow of knowing Christ. Shine brightly with the hope of the New Jerusalem even amidst the broken misery of the city of man. It is coming and we shall soon see our King. Don’t dwell in fear and don’t lose hope.
Shine the light.