The difference that light makes

(Photo: Unsplash/Leon Contreras)

Our world is full of light, and it fills our eyes with beauty. The sun greets us in the morning with its cheery rays of gold and blue, marches across the sky and softly dips below the horizon with a final display of golden hues. But even as night falls, light still shines, with twinkling stars dotting the sky and lovers following moonlit paths.

But light is more than beauty. Making light can be considered one of mankind's greatest inventions, from the soft-hued glow of the campfire to the harsh blue of a naked incandescent bulb. Light is essential to our lives. It helps us to see, and that is something we can't do without.

A world of darkness would be a hidden world, full of unknown dangers and unsure ground. If no one could see, no-one could lead, for no-one would know where to go. Light changes all that. It shows the path and the destination. It shows the obstacles and the dangers, and it also shows the way through.

To see the path

In Psalm 119 - a splendid meditation on the beauty of God's word - the writer makes good use of the analogy of light:

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Psalm chapter 119 verse 105).

It is instantly relatable. Just as light shows us the way to go, so God's word shows us the way to live. Apart from God we are in the dark, spiritually speaking, but He has given us His word to shine light on our paths, to give us guidance and help us set our direction.

The Word and the Light

All this leads to the second 'I Am' statement that Jesus makes about himself in the gospel of John:

'Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."' (John chapter 8 verse 12).

When the Apostle John introduces Jesus in his gospel, he describes him as 'the Word' who was with God and was God from the very beginning. He says: "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us."

So, it is clear that Jesus is the Word, and, as that Word, it makes perfect sense that He is our light, just as the Psalmist previously declared. Jesus is not just a light, He is the light. The world has no other source of light, no other way to see life and salvation.

Shine the light

Jesus is the light of life, the light of the world, brightly shining for all who want to see. He shows me the way to the Father, the path to salvation, the doorway to heaven. He shows me the meaning of life and its very source. He shows me the way to live.

And He calls me to join with him in being the light of the world, helping others to see the light and walk the path of life.

"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew chapter 5 verse 14 to 16).

When Moses met with God his face radiated with light. I can't say I have experienced that, but it is my hope that as I grow closer to God and draw nearer to his light, I will reflect that light more brightly and clearly to all around me.