John 8:12 – Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life. (AMP)
It was toward the end of the day of a big family gathering. The children were at last in bed and asleep after a day of swimming in the lake and racing here and there. The dogs from two families had stretched out asleep in opposite corners, probably having agreed upon a temporary truce. The adults, weary from the fresh air, sun, and constant vigilance watching the children, sat around the big kitchen table in my father-in-law's old farmhouse, relaxing and drinking coffee.
As the night began to close in around us, oil lamps were lit, and I became immediately aware of the strange shadows being cast around the walls. Looking more closely at the glass globe of the lamp, I saw that it was soiled here and there with black, oily soot, because the flame was smoking a little. I distinctly remember my mother-in-law casually remarking, "I must clean those lamps tomorrow."
That experience has been deeply embedded in my mind during the passing years. We acknowledge Jesus as the Light of the world. We also have the tremendous responsibility of keeping our lives clean and unsoiled in the world, so that His light can shine brightly from within us. Fortunately, this is not accomplished alone! Sadly, all of us have failed our God at some time, but He has provided for such a situation, and we have His Son to make propitiation for our sins. Yes, I know of one who failed for many years, but because God can use our experiences and failures, when that one returned to serve his Lord and Saviour, he was far more powerful in his ministry of counselling than during his former years. He clearly realized the temptations and attractions of the world, and with this experience, he became a more understanding counsellor and fellow Christian. Even those who have allowed their lamp to flicker and burn out, for any reason, may draw near to the living flame, the Light of the world, and be rekindled.
Prayer: Our gracious heavenly Father, we thank You for Your wonderful forgiving love, a love which searches for us, then uses us to bring Your light into our world. Help us, each day, to look carefully at our lives to ensure that the dirt which produces shadows is cleaned daily. We pray this prayer with confidence in the name of Your Son and our Saviour, Christ Jesus. Amen.