by Edward O. Bragwell
Our title is a line from a song very familiar to little folks who participate in Bible classes. It is a joy to see them marching around, holding the imaginary light high with one hand. The idea ultimately goes back to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16 KJV).
When considered in context, Jesus’ admonition carries a powerful message. It indeed gives us a powerful tool for spreading the gospel message (evangelism). Each act of love and kindness is a point of light, from the source of light (“God is Light”- I John 1:5), transmitted through those walking in the light. As Christians, we are indeed lighting of the world by the very nature of our relationship to the Godhead.
The thrust of this passage is for us not to cancel the effect of the light we have in Christ by, at the same time, filling our lives with worldliness. The worldliness cancels out the effect of the godliness. Let’s be busy showing the world the light received of the Father, while at the same time preserving the effect of that light, by keeping ourselves “unspotted from the world” (James 1:27.)
How can we let our light glorify God? Throw away the bushel (basket) that is hiding it from the world.
It is hard to deeply respect one who boasts of the good things he does for the Lord (shining his light), while we are well aware of his worldly lifestyle.