My job is not to be a lighthouse.
Well, I hear you say, that’s an interesting way to start… why would you say that?
Because I sometimes think it is, or act like I think it is. A lighthouse swishes it’s light round and round. Sometimes it is light and sometimes it is dark. Now if all I wanted to do was keep people away from rocks that’d be fine, but my job is to do something a lot different. I’ll let Jesus explain.
14 And you, beloved, are the light of the world.
A city built on a hilltop cannot be hidden.
15 Similarly it would be silly to light a lamp and then hide it under a bowl. When someone lights a lamp, she puts it on a table or a desk or a chair, and the light illumines the entire house.
16 You are like that illuminating light. Let your light shine everywhere you go, that you may illumine creation,
so men and women everywhere may see your good actions,
may see creation at its fullest, may see your devotion to Me,
and may turn and praise your Father in heaven because of it.
See what I mean? I’m not a flashing disco light on and off and on and off syncopated to a beat. I’m not a security light that comes on when there’s motion. I am not even a lighthouse that shines all the time but sometimes is turned away where people can’t see. I am the light of the world and I need to be shining all the time. There’s no worry about running up a huge electricity bill because I am fuelled by the eternal Light of the World.
But sometimes it is as if I am worried about burning out the bulb or running up a huge bill. It’s as if I am a security light or a lighthouse and I just shine when I want to warn someone off, I pick and choose where and when I will shed my light. I even get a bit disco and my light flashes on and off in time with the cool things, the popular things.
Jesus says quite clearly my light isn’t for me, it is for everyone else to be able to see God in me, in what I do. They will see that I shine because He lives in me, He is transforming me, He loves me and because I love Him. I point to Him in everything I do so that people look at Him. Imagine the hilltop city and the builders trying to disguise it with some camouflage netting or a huge pile of leaves. Or lighting a lamp and then putting a bucket over it – you might as well turn it off.
There’s a light in me that can’t be turned off or hidden if I am doing what I am supposed to do – loving God and loving my neighbour. Note that – if I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. Hmmm.