Whether at a movie, concert, or play, the scene is always best set by dimming the lights. Just like the stars of the sky, the stars of the stage shine brightest against a darkened black drop. Our world is full of dark situations – crime, prejudice, natural disasters – where the light of Christ is ready to take the stage and steal the show.
When we encounter dark situations in life, we usually feel discouraged, but Jesus sees these moments as opportunities. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16) Jesus is asking us to stop hiding and start showcasing His light in this dark world.
There’s about 400 years from the end of the Old Testament to the birth of Jesus. It was a dark time for people wondering, “Where’s this Savior the old prophets spoke of?” Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, saw the opportunity and prayed his son would, “give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:79) People are still sitting in darkness, on the verge of spiritual death, starving for the light of Christ, which lives within us. Are we guiding people out of the darkness or just lighting our own way?
There is no situation Jesus cannot bring light into. In Revelation 21:23, John sees a glimpse of heaven and there’s literally no need for light. “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” If we take Scripture as truth, this means Jesus, the lamp that can light a whole city, can bring light to any dark disaster – a broken relationship, a gang infested neighborhood, or a hurricane stricken town.
God said, “Let light shine out of darkness.” (1 Corinthians 4:6) Wherever we encounter an area lacking Christ’s light, let’s allow our Christlike qualities, the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – to shine and take center stage.