A nickname for Alaska and many northern regions is “The Land of the Midnight Sun.” In Alaska we are blessed with an abundance of sunlight and rays in the summer, while in the winter we long for light and warmth. Light has many redeeming qualities and it is easy to take it for granted, especially when it is not around.
In Matthew 5:14, Jesus says to the group of people following Him, “You are the light of the world.” When Jesus said they were the light of the world, it was in contrast to the Greeks of the day who were known for their superior knowledge, architecture, art, and philosophy. Aristotle, Plato and Socrates had already shared with the world centuries before Jesus told this unassuming group that they were the light of the world.
Jesus had just given a discourse on the realities of living in His kingdom and what it would look like to “blessed” in such a way. Then He tells those who claim Him as Lord of their lives that they have the opportunity to share with others the “light” of His love.
Jesus could say this because as God, He declares in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus is the source of light and He gives two examples of ways to shine as light in a dark world: (1) Light serves as a guide, and (2) Light is to be seen.
Let’s explore how light serves as a guide. In the latter part of verse 14, Jesus says, “A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”
When a follower of Christ is merciful, meek, a peacemaker, or living as someone who is pure in heart, they will have a tremendous influence in the lives of someone who is yet to follow God.
One’s actions can function like lights on a runway which can help people find hope in the midst of darkness. The other function of light is that it is to be seen. Matthew 5:15 says, “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”
Palestinian homes of Jesus’s time were often dark and without many windows. When a light was put on a stand in the middle of the room, all the people in the house could benefit. In same way others are blessed when followers of Christ are blessing others with His light.
If you are a follower of Christ there are many ways to shine as light in a dark world and when this happens, “others may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
One can “shine” by being connected to the source: Jesus; getting grounded in the source: the Bible; and letting God shine through YOU!
The River Covenant Church meets on Sundays at 10 AM at the Kenai Boys & Girls Club at 705 Frontage Road in Kenai.
Pastor Frank Alioto also serves as a chaplain with Central Emergency Services and can be reached at 252-2828 or on the web at therivercovenantchurch.org.