Recently I saw a CNN Heroes special highlighting Evans Wadongo. Only 23 years old, he had the novel idea of using a solar-powered LED lantern to help light rural homes in Kenya, bringing light to a dark continent. Many of us realize the need for food for many Africans, but I, for one, didn’t even consider the need for light. These families rely on firewood and kerosene for light and cooking. If they can use these lanterns and save the amount of money they spend to buy kerosene they can purchase food.
We were all created to need light by a God who loves light. The Bible begins and ends with light! It was the first thing God created in the book of Genesis. In the book of Revelations the last page describes heaven’s light, which is God’s glory. The Creator of light reminds us daily of our need for light with a morning sunrise and an evening sunset.
Psalm 139:105 states, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” God’s Light is never a floodlight, showing us the far distant future, for that would be unwise. We would simply find our own way to get there, not the intended route, missing people and critical situations needed to develop us along the way. Rather, His light is a lamp, showing us just enough to keep us on our daily path. His light guides us, instructs us, and shows us sin. All things are exposed and made manifest in His light. Much like clean windows that look great until the sun streams through, showing all the dirty spots, His Spirit reveals flaws within our own nature that need cleansing before we fully shine.
Light, however, is not always wonderfu—consider Satan. His name, Lucifer, actually meant “light bearer.” God created him to shine, but he corrupted that light, trying to use it to bring glory to himself, rather than God—a lesson we all must keep in mind. There is a reason why a candle’s flame burns up; it points to the One in whom all glory is due. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12
One of God’s magnificent nicknames is Father of Lights. In James 1:17 the Bible states: “Every good and perfect gift comes from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” Written in a time when shadows were used to tell the time of day on sundials, this verse states that God has NO shadow of turning—why?
It’s simply because His light is right above us, always present, never changing.
Interestingly, darkness was one of the Ten Plagues. The Lord, in order to bring freedom to his people, sent darkness to Pharaoh and the Egyptians, darkness for three days so heavy it could be felt.
Yet His people, the children of Israel, had light in their dwelling. Darkness isn’t always physical—sometimes it’s a state within your soul, a sadness so deep any light seems buried. Yet He dwells there.
Psalms 139 states “Even the night shall be light about me for the darkness and light are both alike to You.”
My Christmas wish for you, friends, is that you delight in God’s Light. The world still needs that same Light first seen in a stable on Christmas Day. May you reflect the light of Christ this season and in the coming year!
“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16