Last night we returned home with bellies full of fish and chips to total darkness. As we drove closer to our house the streetlights were off and a few houses had glowing candles in the windows. With help of cell phones we found our way down the garden to our house and I went straight to where I knew I had put matches and a candle for such an occasion. Smugly I lit the first candle – a tea light in a beautiful Tyrone crystal lamp. I glowed gently in the dark, but didn’t give much light. I lit a second candle – a glass jelly filled thing. It glowed a bit brighter but the jelly started to gurgle and sputter like it may explode. Eventually I took the batteries out of my camera and clocks to put them in an ugly plastic light-bulb thing that lit up the room enough to read. My first choices of lights were pretty, but pretty well useless. Their beauty outweighed their function. My second choice was less beautiful, but fit for the job.
I woke up this morning to clocks that needed resetting with a thought in my head – what kind of light am I? Is my faith all about how I look rather than what I do? Am I the decorative candle, lovely to look at but in a time of need not so helpful or am I like my plain light, more functional than decorative?
Jesus said that we are the light of the world:
Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
But how am I shining? Does my light bring light to others? Is my faith practical and functional?
Ephesians 5:8-10 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord.
Does my faith walk bear the fruit of the light? Goodness, righteousness and truth?
I pray that my faith-walk is more practical than for show. That when ‘my little light shines’ it would be a light that brings goodness, righteousness and truth not just a warm fuzzy glow.