February 13, 2020
Let Your Light So Shine
Let your light so shine before men. – Matthew 5:16
Our church steeple has beautiful stained-glass panels depicting various religious symbols, which are illuminated at night by a 400-watt metal halide lamp. Changing that lamp is not an easy job! If it burns out, someone must put on a safety harness, climb into the steeple, attach himself to a safety cord, and then change the bulb. The location of that work is 35 feet above the pulpit.
Many people pass by our beautifully landscaped church grounds. Interestingly, it was one of those passing by who brought to our attention the fact that the steeple had not been illuminated for two months! Needless to say, we hastened to order a new lamp and secure the services of an electrician, and were soon lighting the night sky above our church once again.
While working on replacing the lamp, I began thinking about how important it is to keep the light for the stained glass burning brightly. Not only is it important for aesthetic reasons, but it is also a reflection upon the integrity of the people who attend the church, and their commitment to maintaining the house of the Lord. It takes time and effort to keep our church in its finest condition, and others will notice how well, or how poorly, we do this.
This thought has a personal application too. While it was a little embarrassing for someone outside of the local congregation to notice that our steeple light was burnt out, it would be much more embarrassing, perhaps even disastrous, if others could not see the light of Christ shining out of our lives!
When I was young, one of my friends went away for a season and returned home. Before he left, we could converse freely about the Lord and how thrilling it was to have a part in the Lord’s work. However, when he returned home, he no longer talked about the things of God. I mentioned to him that something had changed—that his light was not the same as it had been—and I am happy to say he took my concern seriously. He took care of his “light” problem and went on to maintain his integrity with the Lord.
We must not let our lights go out; others need our lights to show them the way. It takes work to maintain the light, but others will know the difference. Consider the number of people you will influence in your lifetime. What do you want that influence to be?