2020 has been a very challenging year for so many. No one knows when “all of this” is going to end. It is as if a thick, dark cloud of negativity and hopelessness has descended on the earth. As Christians, we are called – now more than ever – to be different and be a light to the world.
Darkness covers the earth
I often wonder how do people who don’t know Christ cope in this crisis? Where do they find the strength to face another day or even the future?
Some might have lost their source of income, and now struggle to pay off their mortgage or provide for their family.
Others may have lost loved ones, or are anxious about their family’s safety and wellbeing.
And others have lived through months of loneliness and isolation.
There is no word that describes a situation that is endlessly hopeless better than darkness. In darkness you can’t see where you are or where you’re heading. You don’t know which direction to turn to or when you will see the light of day again. (Read also: Against all hope: Having faith in hard times)
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Arise and shine – for your light has come
In the Bible, the prophet Isaiah speaks of a time when the world is covered by thick darkness. And right there and then, Isaiah calls God’s people to arise and shine – and light up that world.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1-2, NKJV)
Every year on Christmas we celebrate the coming of our light – Jesus, our Saviour and Messiah. But we need to remember, Jesus hasn’t just come to light up our life so we can feel good about it and that’s it.
There is a greater purpose for us, who have received Christ – our light – into our life. We need to make it count and shine. And how do we shine? Isaiah tells us: when we arise!
As long as we are passive, only concerned about ourselves and celebrating Christmas within our Christian circles, we show no concern for the lost.
To be a light to the world, we need to arise, take the initiative and make a difference.
You are the light of the world
Jesus affirms Isaiah’s words. He calls us “the light of the world” and immediately prompts us, not to keep that light to ourselves.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” (Matthew 5:14-15, NKJV)
We carry the light of Christ in us for a purpose. Like a lighthouse directing the ships through the sea into the safe haven, our light should help the people around us – who are sitting in darkness – find the way to our great Saviour whose birth we celebrate these days.
Let them see your good works
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16, NKJV)
Make this Christmas count and be a light to the people around you. Maybe you have a lonely neighbour. Surprise them with a Christmas card and a small present. You might make their day!
Be a light to people you meet randomly. When you’re grocery shopping or walking the dog – wish the people you run into a good day. If you can, have a brief chat. You may be the only person they have talked to for a while.
Speak hope into people’s life. Most conversations nowadays are negative, filled with worry or resentment. Let’s be different! Let us spread positivity – that hope that we have in Christ and the love of God!
This is how we can be a light in this difficult season.
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