"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 its 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." Matthew 5:14-16 NIV
This Scripture reminds me of a beautiful, needlepoint gift hanging on my wall, just above my computer. The scene includes a hurricane lamp, a cross, a bible and the words of Psalm 119 verse 105. "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." NIV
This gift, handcrafted by two women, in a Faith Formation group several years ago, now hangs on my wall as a reminder, to walk in the Light. Life includes hills, valleys and sometimes, mountains to climb. Lest we stumble in the dark, our heavenly Father sent a Light to the world in the Person of Jesus, His Son. Jesus came that we might have life. All life must have light in order to come to fulfillment in God's plan for creation. Plants, trees, animals, fowl, fish, oceans and humans must each absorb an appropriate amount of light in order to grow and become all God intended each to become. From the moment of creation light is an essential part of life, it sustains growth and nourishes the body. It shares in the ongoing development of God's creation.
Of all creatures, only, humans need both physical and spiritual light to survive. The Light needed for growth and fulfillment of God's plan in the spiritual realm of life is Jesus. All of Scripture reveals God's plan from the beginning to the end of life, this plan of God is, sometimes referred to as the Economy of Salvation.
God's vision from the beginning included His Son and when the time was right, He sent Him to earth. God said, this is my Son, listen to Him and His light will shine for all to see the path, which leads you back to Me. God did not tell the animals, birds, fish, plants, oceans and trees, He only told us about His Son.
Jesus said, I am the light of the world, and later He said, I, will be with you always. The Light that is Christ will never grow dim will never be blown out, only our vision of Him will ever cause the appearance of His light being dim or blown out. Christ our Light is with us, however like the Father, He is not pushy, He is here but we have to take the initiative and hold on to Him as we hold on to a lamp when seeking our way in the absence of physical light.
In Psalm 119 the author Nun, wrote, "Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path." When we allow the Word of God to light a fire within our hearts and minds, we will see with the eyes of faith a path leading us to closer union with God. Seeing, believing and trusting we will discover the plains of life. Here we can walk on sacred ground, holy ground, ground well lit by the Light of Christ. In His light, we see the hills, valleys and mountains of life. When we turn to Jesus He will lift us up and place us safely on the other side where we can continue to walk securely on the plains again. In faith, hope and love we will walk in light and through the eyes of faith, our journey will bring us to the heavenly Kingdom.
As the glass globe sitting on the stand of a lamp surrounds the flame, protecting it from harsh winds and subtle breezes, so the Holy Spirit surrounds us with grace sufficient to keep our inner flame alive. We are consciously aware of harsh winds capable of blowing out the flame of light, but it is sometimes the subtle breeze, unexpectedly causing the lighted flame to go out.
Before Jesus returned to His Father He told us, we are the light of the world and our light must shine so others can see. The Light in me must shine, so you can see the path, and the Light in you must shine so I can see the path. If anyone of us pushes away our Light as one would push away a lamp, we are, left in the darkness.
How then can we be the Light showing others where to find and how to avoid the hills, valleys and mountains along the way of life? If I stumble over the roots in the ground will you see my light growing dim, will you come to me and shine your light that I may again see? If you stumble along the way, is my light bright enough to reach your path that you may see the way again?
I think we can compare the concept of harsh winds and subtle breezes with sin. Just as harsh winds and subtle breezes can cause loss of physical light, sin can and does cause the loss of spiritual light. We usually remain on guard against the attempts of Satan to lead us into serious sin, but he is subtle in his ways, leading us along a path of devastation toward the pitfalls, the little holes, the rocks, symbolic of lesser sin.
Sin like these can create patterns of life capable of weakening our resolve to follow the Light and to be a light to the world. When we least expect we can and sometimes do fall into serious sin. We can find ourselves in darkness because we were negligent and ignored the habit of sin developing in our daily life. In times of sin, the Father never pulls the plug from the socket connecting us with Him. He continues to infuse us with the Light of His love.
The Holy Spirit continues a flow of grace into the corners of our hearts and minds. Our acceptance of His grace can refuel the lighted flame once burning within us. Jesus the Light whom we may have lost sight of, continues to pray for us, saying, Father for these I pray, that they may again be one with Us. I will be their Light I will shine through them for all to see. In Your goodness and Your love forgive them Father. I will lead them home to You.
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