Sunday, December 26, 2010

Reflecting His Light

I was watching a TED video‡ last night, and a guy (John Lloyd) was talking about invisibility. Not like Harry Potter's magic cloak, just real things that we cannot see. For example, he said "we can see matter, but we can't see what's the matter." Mostly this was a funny 10 minutes of quips and word plays that just make you think and smile. Another interesting one was that we can't see what we don't know. Hmmm. This was culminated with him rhetorically asking the crowd: "What's the point?" ("of this lecture" was implied, but not spoken).

OK, speaking of the point, what's my point? One of Lloyd's interesting notes was about light. Light is invisible until it hits something. In complete darkness, you can shine a flashlight across a room, and you will not see the beam except where it impacts the far wall. (If you can see the beam midair, it is dust, so clean your house and then try it again ;-)

Jesus offered some important ideas about Himself, ourselves, and light. In John 8:12 Jesus said “I am the light of the world.” Bringing this into our flashlight discussion, it is interesting that this light will not be seen unless it reflects off something. What will it reflect off, you ask? People, of course. Followers of Jesus. We are the ones who illuminate the way for others. We don't do it alone, of course, since we are not the Source of the light. Yet as God has constructed this world, we are a necessary part of the cycle. Jesus→Light→Believers→The World, then from the world there are more believers.

Jesus had more instructions using light as a metaphor. In Matthew 5:14 he went so far as to say
"You are the light of the world ... let your light shine before others." Wow, so now believers are even the source of the light themselves. I'm not willing to say we are the ultimate source, but let's say a local source for our area of influence in the world. More than just the source though, we are the actual light that illuminates the way for others. Without us, the world will remain in darkness. Maybe you have a really bright family room or kitchen table, but it cannot stop there. There are so many dark places in the world, some of them right under our noses. Not everyone is cut out for third world mission trips:

  • Your workplace might need your light
  • Your local supermarket might need your light
  • Your church might need your light
  • Your kids' sports team, scout troop, or other secular organization might need your light
All of these start with "Your" because these are place you already go on a regular basis. Make sure that you bring your light, and shine you light every time you are there.


‡ TED shows very cool short videos by amazing people on all kinds of topics. You won't be disappointed: