Posted by: morgan1965 | December 31, 2017

Shining The Light Of Christ In The New Year

As we enter into the 2018 New Year, I am reminded of a Dwight L. Moody story about a ship that was approaching the entrance to the Cleveland harbor from Lake Erie. It was a stormy night, not unlike the storms that we experience in our personal living. The ship’s captain questioned the pilot as to whether they had reached Cleveland. The pilot assured the captain that they were near Cleveland. The captain could only see one light from the light-house as he looked across the rolling waves while his ship heaved in the water. The captain asked: “Where are the lower lights?”

The pilot indicated that the lower lights had gone out. Nevertheless, the pilot believed that they could make the harbor, so they plowed ahead; but, the ship missed the channel. The tragic result was a ship wreck, with lives lost.

Moody helped his hearers to understand that it is Jesus, the Light of the World, who is the great lighthouse. This light never goes out.

When Phillip Bliss heard this story, he was inspired to write the hymn, “Let the Lower Lights Be Burning:”

“Brightly beams our Father’s mercy, from His lighthouse evermore; but to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.”

“Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave! Some poor fainting, struggling seaman, you may rescue, you may save.”

Who have been the “lower lights” in your life?” Have you been a “lower light” in someone’s life? I am grateful today for the persons who have been a “lower light” in my life, and have been a guide for me in the midst of life’s storms.

In “The Beatitudes,” Jesus calls us to be lights, lower lights. He says: “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on a lampstand, and gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-15)

One way to start being a light to the world, is to keep the light of the Advent candles glowing in our families, neighborhoods, cities, the nation and the world.

First, we can embrace the Light. Let’s “…walk in the light, beautiful light, come where the dewdrops of mercy are bright. Shine all around us by day and by night, Jesus, the Light of the world.”  (Charles Wesley) This is an invitation that we can extend to the people of the world (family, friends, neighbors, strangers). We can help each other to find our way through the storms of life.

Second, keep the candle of HOPE flaming. “For surely, I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Jesus Christ, therefore, is the foundation of our hope.

Third, keep the candle of LOVE glowing. “…you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) Life is all about relationships, especially our relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. God loves each one of us.

Fourth, keep the candle of JOY radiant, receptive and giving. “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5b) The joy that Jesus exhibited in his life is the joy that will boost our daily living.

Finally, keep the candle of PEACE ignited. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns’.” (Isaiah 52:7) Our world surely needs peace makers.

When the storms of life are raging all around us, it is a good thing to “trim your feeble lamp.” Strive to reach the harbor of safety and security, knowing that God cares and will take care of you. Look for the “lower lights.” Also, be a “lower light.”

Moving forward into 2018, let us keep the “lower lights” burning in every possible place.

Think About It!

May God’s Love, Joy and Peace provide you with the foundation for hope-filled living in the New Year. Happy New Year!!!

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