Isaiah 60: 1-3
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn
1 Peter 2: 9
….you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
This week we have been exploring what it means to be light and how we can shine most effectively in our community and culture. Today we will look at the impact of light.
Why shine? What difference does it make?
God is glorified: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt 5: 16)
When we shine, our actions point to the Greatest Light. People see our love, compassion, generosity and kindness – and somehow they look beyond you and I and catch a glimpse of the goodness of the One who lives within us. Ultimately our light leads to others giving glory to the Father.
We attract the nations: “Nations will come to your light….” (Is 60: 3)
There’s something about light that draws others towards it. Deep down people long for light, they want their world to be illuminated, they desire to be around people who shine.
Darkness is displaced: “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (Jn 12: 46)
When we, the Church, hide from world and live with a defensive mentality of trying not to be polluted or corrupted by the culture, a vacuum opens for darkness to occupy. Darkness is simply the absence of light. Once light shines, darkness is gone.
Darkness is exposed: “But everything exposed by the light becomes visible…” (Eph 5: 13)
Paul says that deeds of darkness will be exposed by the light we shine. Empty, shallow, harmful and sinful pursuits will be seen and experienced for what they really are.
Relationships are deepened: “…if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another…” (1 John 1: 7)
It’s hard to have growing relationships with others when we have secret places of darkness in our lives that we are covering up and hiding. Truth is the foundation of all strong friendships and living a life of transparency and vulnerability will allow you to form meaningful connections with others.
Light is so simple, yet effective. When we shine, as is our nature, everyone wins. God is glorified, we experience blessing and others see the Father’s goodness and are drawn to the light. So wherever you find yourself today, don’t run from darkness, illuminate it.
We look forward to seeing you this Sunday at 9.30 am, 11.30 am and 7.00 pm.