'Children of Light'

Saturday Reflection

14th November 2020

'consider what it means...'

5 You are not in darkness
   you are all children of the light
   and children of the day.'

..... 1 Thessalonians 5:5

Our lectionary readings
for this Sunday include an extract
from Paul's letter to
the people of Thessalonica
(1 Thess. 5:1-11)
encouraging them to live
as children of light.

In our present time of darkness,
caused by the pandemic,
light, hope and encouragement
are needed more than ever.

Let us consider what it means
for us to be
the light of the world.
Jesus was the first to make
such a startling claim about us.

14 "You are the light of the world.
    A town built on a hill
    cannot be hidden.

.....Matt. 5:14

Paul takes up this theme
in 1 Thessalonians 5:5

5 'You are not in darkness
   you are all children of the light
   and children of the day.'

and in Ephesians 5:8 where we read,

"For once you were darkness,
 but now you are light in the Lord.
 Live as children of light."

Now you are light in the Lord,
and so am I!
What an amazing statement.
If it weren't in Scripture,
I would not be so audacious
as to think this,
let alone to write it.
But how can you and I
be light in the world?

If Jesus is the
"true light that gives light to everyone"
(John 1:9),
what does it mean for us
to be light?

It seems obvious that our lightness
is not self-generated,
but reflected.
As believers in Jesus,
we don't have guilt by association,
but light by association.

As we walk in the light of Jesus,
as we allow his goodness
to illumine us,
as we let his truth shine through us,
we will take on a heavenly glow.
We will be light,
but only "in the Lord."

Whilst on holiday on the isle of Mull,
earlier in the year,
I walked along a cliff path
to a lighthouse,

The walk was beautiful,
winding between trees,
sometimes glimpsing the sea,
sometimes only seeing
the vegetation growing
on either side of the path.

Coming round corners
to discover beautiful views,
until finally I came round a corner
and there, in front of me,
was the lighthouse,
standing tall
and proud on the headland -
what a beautiful sight.

The analogy of a lighthouse
helps me understand how
we are light in the world.

Certain lighthouses can send a beam
as far as 28 miles out to sea.
To be sure,
they have an extremely bright bulb.
Yet, a lighthouse is able to shine so far
not only because of the intensity of its bulb.

surrounding the bulb in a modern lighthouse
are dozens of small prisms that
help to intensify
and to focus the light.

Though the prisms have
no intrinsic light,
they are essential to a lighthouse.

Yes, the bulb radiates brightly
and creates the light,
but the prisms enable the light
to shine far beyond
the sphere that would be
illuminated by the bulb alone.

I don't mean to suggest that
Christ cannot enlighten
the whole world by himself.
But he has chosen to shine
in the world through us.

We are his prisms, so to speak.
When we are properly aligned
with Christ,
his light shines through us
in such a way that we also serve
as light in the world.

Are we prisms for Jesus
in our part of the world?
How? Why? Or why not?
What helps us to be aligned
with Christ
so that we might shine with his light?