Meditation: What does the image of light and a lamp tell
us about God's kingdom? Lamps in the ancient world served a vital
function, much like they do today. They enable people to see and
work in the dark and to avoid stumbling or losing their way. The
Jews also understood "light" as an expression of the inner beauty,
truth, and goodness of God. Many passages from the Old Testament
Scriptures describe how God's light guides and helps us grow in
our knowledge of him and his truth and wisdom for our lives. In
his light we see light ( Psalm 36:9). His word is a
lamp that guides our steps (Psalm 119:105).
We are light-bearers of God's truth and love
The truth cannot remain hidden, or suppressed, or destroyed. We might refuse to face the truth or try to suppress it, or destroy it, but the truth will always prevail because it is indestructible. That is why God wants us to know the truth and to stake our lives on it. God's grace (his indwelling presence and power at work in us) and his word of truth enable us to hear, believe, and obey him without fear or reservation. Just as natural light prevails over the darkness around us and enable us to see clearly, so the light of Christ shines in the hearts of all who hear and believe his word. God wants to fill us with his Holy Spirit so that we may shine brightly with the radiance of his truth, love, and goodness.
Jesus called John the Baptist "a burning and shining lamp" (John 5:35) because he bore witness to God's word and pointed others to Jesus, the true Light and Savior of the world. Our call and mission, like John the Baptist, is to be light-bearers of Jesus Christ so that many others may hear and understand the truth of the Gospel (the good news of Jesus Christ) and be set free from the blindness of sin, ignorance, and deception.
Living in the light brings true freedom and joy
Jesus remarks that nothing can remain hidden or secret. We can try to hide things from others, from ourselves, and from God. How tempting to shut our eyes from the consequences of our sinful ways or bad habits, even when we know what those consequences are. And how tempting to hide them from others and even from God. But, nonetheless, everything is known to God who sees all.
There is great freedom and joy for those who live in God's light and who seek his truth and goodness. Those who listen to God and heed his voice will receive more from him. And they will not lack what they need to live as Christ's disciples. And they will shine as lights that show the wisdom and truth of God's word. Do you know the joy and freedom of living in God's light and truth?
"Lord Jesus, you guide me by the light of your saving truth. Fill my heart and mind with your light and truth and free me from the blindness of sin, ignorance, and deception that I may see your ways clearly and understand your will for my life. May I radiate your light and truth to others in word and deed."
This reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager, whose website is located at: http://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/