Reflecting the Light
Open Your Bible
Matthew 5:1-16, Isaiah 49:6-7, Ephesians 4:17-24, Philippians 2:12-18
Section 2: People of the Light
A film camera is one of my favorite examples of the significance of light. The How Stuff Works website explains it this way: “To capture an image, you have to keep the film in complete darkness until it’s time to take the picture. Then, when you want to record an image, you let some light in. At its most basic level, this is all the body of a camera is—a sealed box with a shutter that opens and closes between the lens and film.”
There are no photographs without light. It makes things visible through the reflective mechanism of a camera.
As we’ve been learning throughout this season, Jesus is the Light of the World. We are called, then, to act as the reflective mechanism. Like the song says, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”
Many times I sang this simple children’s song, did the hand motions, and enjoyed it. If you had asked me to explain what it means, I would probably have said we need to tell other people about Jesus. While that’s true, age and experience have taught me that there’s a lot of individual nuance in the telling, or the “shining,” if you will.
Each of us, unique from one another with our personalities and circumstances, reflects the same source of light. We are called to be obvious and clear in our love for Jesus, to not hide our affection for Him, because our actions point others toward God (Matthew 5:16). But because we are each created with specific giftings and circumstances, the “shining” will look different. It might entail cooking someone a meal, writing an encouraging note, or helping a neighbor with yard work. Our actions are meant to be evidence that God “is working in you both to will and to work according to His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). In acting in obedience, we will “shine like stars in the world” (v.14).
We can find encouragement in these words when we struggle with the surrounding world that so often fails to acknowledge God. It is Christ working in us that we are reflecting. He is the light that shines to those around us, and He is making us into a reflection of His image in our specific giftings and circumstances. This Advent, be glad and rejoice that you are invited, called, and equipped to live as a reflection of the one, true Light!