Daily Devotions
 
Daily Devotion
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

Your Name is “Light”

Please do me a favor. Before reading the following paragraphs, find a match, a small candle, and a candlestand or something else to hold the candle (e.g., a bowl of sand or uncooked rice). Take them to a place you can make completely or almost dark, such as a windowless basement room, and turn off the lights. Sit for a few minutes and contemplate what life would be like if you always had to live in such darkness. When you are ready, carefully light the match and then light the candle. Look around! What can you see with the light of just one small candle? What does it tell you about the power of even a little bit of light?

I’d guess most who are reading this are city-dwellers; people constantly surrounded by the glow of streetlights, neon signs, and headlights. Few of us these days ever experience total darkness unless we are spelunkers or have been to a very remote area. I was stationed in Turkey in 1974 during the Cyprus Conflict. Our area was put under a strict blackout. I still remember walking to my base housing from the secure compound where I worked on a moonless night so dark you literally could not see your hand in front of your face. Even a small candle would have been welcomed to light the way. Of course, we were under a blackout for the very reason that even a small candle could have provided a target for enemy aircraft.

Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, 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 in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14)

Light overcomes darkness; illuminates ones’ path. It doesn’t take much light to bring joy and peace amid darkness, which is why Jesus uses light to describe his followers. Note he doesn’t say you are like light, or almost light. You arelight! By his grace, you are given power to overcome the darkness in the lives of others; to illuminate their paths to God.

I have known many Christians who feel rather inept at sharing the gospel or inadequate in their own faith to truly make a difference in the lives of others. They feel small; helpless; anything but light for the world. And it may well be that they lack an abundance of gifts or have barely a flicker of faith in them. Nevertheless, Jesus says they are light and of great value to God. 

That is why I asked you to light a small candle in a dark room and contemplate how its glow permeated the darkness. It teaches that you do not need to be a big flame to bear Christ’s light to others or bring about God’s purposes. Indeed, some of the littlest children in my churches have had a more profound effect upon my faith than the best of my seminary professors, simply because they showed God’s love to me in a true and heartfelt manner.

Jesus nicknames us “Light” to help us remember that even the tiniest of our holy efforts can illuminate a path for others to our loving God.

Prayer: Illuminate us with the light of Christ, dear God. Let it shine through us even if our faith is small and inadequacies large, that your love would be known to the world. Amen

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