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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Shining for Jesus.

In Wishaw Baptist Church, our motto for this year is taken from Paul's letter to the disciples of Jesus in the ancient Roman colony of Philippi.  This meant that it was a place in which the majority of the inhabitants were more Roman than people who lived in Rome!  Our motto is from 2:15-16 where we read (NIV): "shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the words of life"

Evangeline Booth, daughter of the founder of the Salvation Army, used to tell of an experience that she had at the end of an exhausting day's ministry (no. physically undemanding, internet ministries in those far-off days!).  Someone came to ask her if she would spare a few minutes to see a particular gentleman.  When she appeared to hesitate, the messenger became quite insistent, explaining that the man had travelled a long distance just to meet with her.  "By all means, then", replied the evangelist, "bring him to me."  "He can't come to you." was the answer.  "He is 94 years old!"

Miss Booth quickly made her way to where the old man was seated.  As she greeted him he told her, "I was the lamplighter for your father when he held his first meeting under shelter.  Afterwards, he placed his hand upon my head and said, 'Always be a lamplighter for Jesus'.  I want you to know that I followed his advice, and have sought to be a shining witness for my Lord."

We may aspire to a great many tasks, and desire to occupy various places of responsibility in God's plan but, basically, we are to be light-bearers - "shin[ing] like stars in the universe as [we] hold out the words of life"  Jesus not only said of Himself,  "I am the Light of the world" (Jn.8:12); He also said to His disciples, "You are the light of the world."! (Matt.5:14).  As the moon reflects the glory of the sun, you and I, if we claim to be His disciples, are called to reflect Him, and to allow His light and life to shine through us. We are to keep our lamps trimmed, not allowing them to go out (see Matt.25:1-13).

We may sing songs like "Shine, Jesus, shine" with as much gusto as we can manage. However, it is as we shine for Him, in our daily lives, that we will have an impact for Him on those with whom we come into contact.  Keep your light shining, and He will put it where it can be seen!

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