“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.” (Matthew 5:15 NIV)
In my last blog I wrote about the ongoing controversy about the water tower in Wilmore Ky (hometown to Asbury University and Asbury Theological Seminary). The water tower has, gasp, a lighted cross on its top. The Freedom From Religion Foundation has asked for the cross to be taken down. As it may offend the sensibilities of the one atheist in Wilmore or cause a town filled with world-renowned professors, students and graduate students to assume there is no separation of church and state.
So as not to offend the sensibilities of anyone from the FFRF I want to warn you the next picture may not be safe for work.
If anyone from the FFRF or other groups did not heed my warning, nad have been converted to Christianity, or if one of your coworkers glanced over your shoulder and is now delving into the Gospel of John, you were warned.
It may seem much ado about nothing, yet that lighted cross has a lot of significance for many around the world. For me it was a way to get to where I needed to be. There are no straight roads into or out of Wilmore. And it’s very easy to get turned around on one of the meandering paths. However if it’s night-time, the adepts know that if you drive around long enough, you’ll be able to see that cross and it will point you a way to safely get to where you need to be.
It is sort of our Central Kentucky version of a lighthouse. A lighthouse’s function was to point the way for a ship, to safely find it’s way to the Harbor. They were a signal to get to where you needed to be. The choppier the waters, the darker the sky the more important the lighthouse was. I particularly like the one below mostly because it appears the lighthouse operator is a Jedi.
When Jesus speaks of us being the light of the world, this is the image that he has in mind. We are to be the light that leads the world to Jesus. We are to be, by how we live, a light that brings others to where they truly wish to be, safely in the arms of Jesus.
I think of General William Booth’s vision of the church as a party on the dock, the music playing loudly and the food and drink flow while all around them there are people in the water drowning. Booth asked who cares?
Who is willing to be a light to the lost and drowning and bring them to safety? Can you imagine being in a storm, desperately trying to get to shore and the lighthouse goes dark?
Yet is this not what many of us do on a daily basis? God has placed in our lives several people who are lost. They are a part of your family. You work with them. They are your neighbors and friends. And they are desperately searching for hope. They search for freedom. They look for redemption and a better life. Whether they know it or not, what they seek is Jesus.
Yet tragically, we who are the light of the world, when they need it most, go dark. We hide our light. We Don’t offer them Christ by our words, actions or examples. We sit quietly by snuffing out the light of Jesus lest we stand out or offend someone.
But Jesus has placed us in a dark world for a reason. He loves every single lost person he places before us. He wants them to find what their souls long for. Don’t hide your light. Let it shine. There are people you love looking for a safe way home.
Rev. Dr. Brian Jones <><