Devotional -

The Light of the World ( 10 December )

Jesus spoke to the Pharisees again. "I am the light of the world," he said. "Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness."
John 8:12
You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16

When our children were small, we lived in an old house with very high ceilings. The three of them slept together in one room, where a 1.5 watt nightlight gave a bit of light. But if they had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, the hallway was dark, and they could not reach the high light switches. To solve the problem I bought a 5 watt light bulb, climbed up a ladder, and screwed it in near the ceiling in the hallway.

I was surprised to find how much light that little bulb gave off. It was actually possible to stand under it and read. However, on many occasions when I went to turn it on in the evening, I discovered that we had left it burning all day. Once the sun began to shine, we simply could not see that the little light was on.

Jesus is the light of the world, "the real light-the light that comes into the world and shines on all people" (John 1:9). There is no greater light, indeed there is no light that is even worthy to be compared to his light.

And yet, Jesus himself said to his disciples that they (we) are the light of the world, using exactly the same expression that he used of himself. This seems to be one of those areas that John was referring to when he said, "as he is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17).

My light is so very small, and to be honest, there are times when I wonder if it is really shining at all. But my light is only shining because Jesus' light has shone on me. It may even be true that my little light-the way I live, good things that I do, how I speak to people and care about them-will be the only light of Jesus that some people will see today.

May the Lord help me to be as he is in the world today.