Have you ever been to a candlelight service for Christmas Eve? They turn out all the lights. People shuffle as their eyes adjust to the dark. The pastor ignites the first flame, which seems faint against the black backdrop. He extends it to light the next candle. As each person shares his candle’s fire with his neighbor’s, the entire room becomes visible once more as light dispels the darkness.
One candle’s light doesn’t seem small now – does it?
When Jesus walked on the earth, He said in John 9:5, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (NKJV). Once He returned to heaven, His followers became the light. Jesus gave us the light of His life (John 8:12) so now we can shine to point people to Christ.
Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV).
We are to shine the light of Jesus to the world through our good works. Our kindness displays the character of Christ for all to see so they may also know the Father. We are not meant to hide what God has done for us, but share our stories to radiate His brilliance to a dark and dying world. We reflect God’s light when we stand in His presence until our faces mirror His glory.
Philippians 2:14-15 says, “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (NKJV).
Paul pointed out that when we choose gratefulness over complaining, others notice that our lives look different from theirs. We may live in a twisted generation, but we don’t have to let culture ties us in knots. We can remain harmless and display hope that people can have a brighter future with Christ. A smile at a weary stranger. A call to a sick friend. A note to a grieving church member. It doesn’t take much to turn a single spark into a fire and light the world with love.
The same way the first flicker of a candle seems meager in a church auditorium at Christmas, when we pass on our light to those around us, the joy of Jesus fills the room. His light lets others catch a glimpse of the glory of God. May our lives radiate heavenly light that points a hopeless world to Christ this year.
Joanna Eccles has led Bible studies for over twenty years and completed the year-long C. S. Lewis Fellows Program. She is passionate about discipleship and helping people grow in Christ. Joanna enjoys coffee and reading, and currently lives in Florida.