When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”John 8:12 (NIV)
“You are the light of the world. A town built 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 others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”Jesus, in Matthew 5:14-16
The moon has sailed across the night sky, capturing imagination and dreams, since the dawn of our species. On some evenings, when the moon seems close and full, it gracefully brightens the darkness with its silvery glow. But it wasn’t until the Greek Philosopher Anaxagoras (500 BC-428 BC) came along that humanity learned that the moon was not a source of light itself. He discovered that the moon simply reflects the light of the sun.
In the same way, we ourselves have no ability of our own to be the light in the darkness, as Jesus commanded us to be near the start of His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5. Yet, just like the moon reflects the light of the sun to illuminate a dark night, we have the opportunity to reflect the Light of the Son into the darkness of this world.
Sometimes the moon stubbornly lingers for an hour or two past dawn, but in the glistening sunlight, it is only faintly visible, a ghostly whisper of the beacon that had split the darkness the previous evening. Light is lighter in the darkness.
So given the darkness enshrouding our world and (especially) the United States at an ever quickening pace, now is the time more than ever when we as followers of Christ need to reflect God’s Light to those around us. Repay hatred with love and prayer. Don’t post that angry Facebook update or bitter tweet. Respond to vitriol with kindness the way only Jesus could. You may say it’s impossible for us to act only as Jesus could, and that’s definitely true if we are acting on our own. But the good news for us and those around us is that God empowered us with the Holy Spirit, enabling us to treat others just as Jesus did.
So will this be easy? Of course not! But God never promised us an easy life, only that He will be with us to help us.
But imagine how much darkness could be overcome in this volatile political climate if every Christ-follower made a concerted effort this coming week to reflect God’s love and light to even just one person they encountered each day! I’m going to make that my goal for this week. How about you?