In Matthew 5:14, Jesus said that we (his followers) are the light of the world. What kind of light are you?
There are many kind of lights with various purposes. Some are small, some large; some are bright, some dim. But they are all lights. And light dispels darkness. So let’s look at different kinds of lights and some of their purposes.
First, look at a candle. Where I live we often experience electrical outages because of ice on the wires or broken highline poles after a storm. Then we drag out our stash of candles and oil lamps. Some people live without electricity, and have to depend on these kinds of lights.
It is debatable, but some say a single candle can be seen for miles. But it is still a small, flickering light. Even when candles are not necessary to produce light, they are often used for décor or for a romantic setting. Supposedly, candle light enhances a setting or the appearance of a person. So we might say that candle light brings out the best in us.
Another light sometimes used is the penlight. This small light is often carried in a purse and is used to find the door key or keyhole in an automobile or a home. This little light cannot shine far, but is useful when one is in the dark.
Then there is the lantern. The lantern is relatively small, but more powerful than the candle or penlight. When I was a kid, my dad and brothers would go hunting for raccoons at night, and they would carry lanterns. Some lanterns used oil, gas or propane for fuel, and later batteries which shone much brighter. These lights were used to light up a camp or to shine the way for hunters as they followed their dogs through woods on a hunting trip.
A flashlight comes in handy when one needs a quick light for any reason. Appropriately called “flash” light, it is able to flash light under the couch to find a lost toy or to flash light on a motor to find the reason it won’t start. Flashlights can be big or small, and can cast a light far into the night.
Miners use headlamps so that their hands are free to work and they can see what they are doing.
A trouble light is bright and its purpose is to signal that there is trouble. Maybe someone has a flat tire on a dark night, or perhaps the shoulder of the road has washed out after a storm. Workers may need these for night work or work in a dark area.
A ceiling light is useful to illuminate the entire room so the inhabitants can see to read, to play, to socialize, or to carry out necessary duties.
A porch light is used to light up the entrance of the house.
A streetlight provides light to keep night travelers safe.
A spotlight shines on a particular target, such as a singer, an actor, a sign, or an object in want of illumination.
A beacon shines brightly to guide planes or boats to safety, or salvation.
Which light are you? Do you shine as a candle when no other light is available to light someone’s life or when storms have put out their lights and they are left in darkness? Do you shine to bring out the best in others? Do you provide light for a key to find its way to open an entry for someone? Are you a lamp or lantern to shine the pathway so a hunter won’t trip or get lost? Do you flash your light to help someone find something they have lost? Do you shine for a worker who needs to keep his hands free to do a job? Do you illuminate a room so that others can see to carry out their duties?
Do you shine your light so that others can see the entrance, or so they will be safe as they stumble through a dark night? Are you someone’s spotlight, shining brightly so that others can see her, though they never notice you? Or do you shine as a beacon to guide lost souls to salvation?
Jesus said in Matthew 5:16: Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Without the lights of Christians, oh how dark the world would be! Light up your world today!