How many of you remember the commercials starting back in the mid 80s for Motel 6 that ended with “We’ll leave the light on for you”? That is one of those phrases and marketing campaigns that have stuck with American culture and some may say that in a meme without completely realizing where it originated from.
Despite a clever catch phrase, think of what that statement means. In the darkness of night, you’ll be traveling and when you get here, we’ll have a light on for you, we’ve waited on and anticipated you getting here. It’s a nice sentiment, one that someone is out there waiting on you and when you are ready, they will be there ready.
You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. – Matthew 5:14
When I think of Thanksgiving, obviously many will travel to see their loved ones and we’ll often be with people that we may only see once or twice a year. So when I think of this topic of being the light in the world, I realize that by saying that God tells us that we are visible to others, we will stand out to others in a dark and fallen world. Some that we will only perhaps a few times. Great responsibility.
When God says in his word that we are the light of the world. What does that mean? Well when there is light, darkness cannot overcome it. When there is light, it can guide you on your journey or give you a direction into which to travel either as acting as a lamp for your next step or for a guidepost to direct yourself towards.
Since we are to be the lights of the world, we can be that light for others that are seeking. When a friend or co-worker is struggling with something in their lives, do they look at you and say, “They’ve gone through troubles, yet there is something different about them and how they handle it.” Have they come to you in their times of trouble, even just to talk?
When Jesus spoke those words in Matthew he was near the sea of Galilee. Near where he was, was the city of Tiberias which stands on a bit of a hill. I can imagine Jesus as he was preaching, looking over the Galilee and seeing the city of Tiberias and making the analogy to the city placed on a hill. The light from Tiberias would be visible from a great distance in the darkness. We are to be like that as we provide a guide post for others.
Notice that the light does nothing extraordinary to draw notice to itself other than just being what it is. So being the light isn’t reserved to those that preach or make a very public impact for Christ. No it’s you living a Christ centered life and walking with Him through your everyday life. People watch you, especially when they notice your light shining, their eyes can’t help but be drawn to you. That’s why I say it’s a great responsibility. To some, your life may be the only opportunity to see the love of Christ.
The light shows the way, it shows the next step. Are you that for others in your life?