Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Bringing In The Sheaves"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 5:14-16 – You are the light of the world. A city 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 men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (NIV)
The time had come for the passing of the light at our Christmas Candle Lighting Carol Service. As the light passed from person to person, it finally reached my row. The gentleman beside me held his candle so that the flame caught my candle's wick. Unfortunately, my wick had been cut very short, and after only a moment or two, it flickered and died. As I was the last person in the row and up against a side wall, it was very dark. The carol, Silent Night, began, and the congregation sang out as the candles shone brightly and illuminated the hymn books, all but mine. Before the end of the second verse, however, my neighbour glanced down and realized that I was in the dark. He immediately lowered his candle and relit mine. It once again caught but then began to flicker before it suddenly flared up and burned brightly and clearly for the rest of the service.
This incident brought to mind the need to be aware of those around us and their circumstances. The bright new year which lies ahead of us will have many opportunities for us to be lights for Jesus as we take and make the time to prayerfully be watchful for those whose light of hope may be flickering, or perhaps has even sputtered and died out.
Within the Scriptures, we see that Jesus lit the light of hope within many, as He always had time for a kind word or a healing touch for those who struggled with hopelessness and despair. Through His guidance and love, we who are His children of light can do likewise.
I've never been one to make new year's resolutions, but being a candle lighter of hope for Jesus seems to be a worthy objective which is calling me to embrace it this year. How about you? Care to join me in this enlightening task throughout this new year?
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Jesus, the light of the world, who has lit so many lives with eternal hope and salvation. Grant that we, Your servants, may do likewise as we prepare to pass on the hope within us to those whose light is flickering or may have sputtered and died out due to the cares and struggles within this world of darkness. May many candles once again be ignited and fortified within our world this coming year due to our obedience to Him who loves us with an everlasting love and hope. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.