As a child, I used to be fascinated with the old art pieces and Bible pictures that showed the saints, Jesus, and disciples with halos and a radiant glow. I did not really understand the concept of spiritual light or the inner light of goodness shining forth, but I did study these pictures carefully hoping for understanding.
Just recently, I have been re-reading the creation story in Genesis, and I was once again reminded that God created light first, separating it from darkness. There was light before sun or moon were created (Genesis 1:1-5). It is difficult to understand the nature and source of that light, but we know that it comes from God.
In Revelation 22, we are told that God is the source of light in His heavenly Kingdom: "There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light." (Revelation 22: 5a)
In Acts, when the Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost, light is again part of the blessing. "They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit..." (Acts 2: 3-4)
As Paul and Barnabas report their first missionary efforts to the Gentiles, they tell the Jews and Gentiles in a Sunday sermon in
Jerusalem that they are heeding Jesus' command: "I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth." (Acts 13: 47)
And Jesus, "the light of the world" (John 8:12), tells the listeners who he hopes will be Christians in the Sermon on the Mount: "You are the light of the world." (Matthew 5: 14a)
As we study Scripture, we realize that the light of goodness and truth is palpable, can be seen. We realize that inner faith and obedience to God are palpable as light and goodness in action. As the moon reflects the light of the sun, so we reflect God's light to the world. We are humbled by such a blessing and awed by such a sacred responsibility. As the children's song reminds us,
"This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!"
Mary-Ellen Grisham is the editor of Eternal Ink, a bimonthly Christian ezine. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com