The Light of the World

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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"You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden."

Matthew 5:14

Jesus follows the "salt of the earth" metaphor with a similar one: "You are the light of the world." Here the emphasis is upon the visibility of the disciples. We who follow Jesus are to live in the world in such a way that people see God through us and are drawn to praise him (v. 16). Talk about a tall order! Yet this is precisely our responsibility as we live out our faith in the world.

Our calling to be the light of the world can feel overwhelming. After all, isn't Jesus himself the light of the world (John 8:12)? How can we join him in this role, especially when our deeds so often reflect poorly on the Lord?

When I think of being the light of the world, I'm encouraged by thinking of a lighthouse. A lighthouse shines its light far out to sea. It is able to do this, partly because of the intensity of the bulb. But that's not all. Surrounding the bulb in a lighthouse are dozens of glass prisms which reflect the glow of the bulb, thus greatly augmenting its illuminative power. Take away the prisms and a lighthouse might be visible for a mile. Add all of those pieces of carefully shaped glass and a lighthouse can be seen from fifteen miles away or even more.

We who follow Jesus are like the prisms of a lighthouse. We don't generate our own light, but rather reflect the brilliance of Christ into the world.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you shine with the light of Christ at work? At home? On the soccer field? When you're sitting in a board meeting? If people were to look upon your life, would they see your good works and give glory to God? Why or why not?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, what an extraordinary honor it is to be part of the light of the world, to be one of those privileged to reflect your brightness into this dark world! But it's not just an honor. It's also a calling, a high and marvelous opportunity to reflect you in all that I do. Thank you for choosing me to be part of your light in this world.

Lord, you know that my track record as a prism is a mixed one. There are times when I reflect you to those around me. But there are those other times, those many other times. What I project into the world isn't the purity of your light, but some strange combination of light and darkness. Sometimes, I fear, I'm purveyor more of shadows than of light. Forgive me, Lord!

And help me to be more faithful as a reflector of your light. No matter where I am, may people see you through me. May this be true especially when I'm "out there" in the world. I can't do this alone, Lord. But you can do it through me. Let it be so, even today! Amen.