There are lights that flood a room and reveals that which is hidden. There are lights that shine as a fixed reminder of eternal truths. There is another kind of light, however. It is the search light of compassion and concern. It is the light that moves out into the darkness to seek the lost. This is the light of the shepherd who leaves the ninety and nine and goes out on the hillside to find the one sheep who is lost. It is the light a woman shines looking for a precious coin. It is the light of a loving God who will not let us go.
Halford Luccock asked his two granddaughters what they wanted for their birthdays. "Give us a world," they responded. Soon he deduced that what they were asking for was a globe. So happily granddad went shopping for a nice large globe that would spin and would be an attractive addition to their room. Expectantly, he waited their pleasure on their birthday as they opened their gift from him. Somehow when the present was opened, however, he sensed they were disappointed. "What is the matter?" he asked. "I thought this is what you wanted." "Well, yes," said one of them, "but we were kind of hoping for a lighted world." Immediately he understood that what they wanted was a globe with a light inside.
"I can fix that," he said. "Let me take it back and exchange it for a lighted one." Unfortunately the store where he bought the globe did not sell lighted ones. So he got his money back and set out to find a lighted world rather than a darkened one. Finally, he located a globe with a light in it, bought it and presented it to his granddaughters, who were delighted. Telling a colleague about this, he was asked if he had learned anything from this experience. He said, "Oh, yes. I learned one thing. I learned that a lighted world costs more."
A lighted world does cost more. It cost God His Son. If we are serious about letting our light shine in today's world, it will cost us something as well.
God of light, with Jesus as my inspiration, may my light shine brightly in this often dark world. In Jesus name, Amen.