When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 NIV
In my previous church, the acolytes are children who light the altar candles at the beginning of the worship service. This tradition symbolically carries the presence of Jesus into the community of worshipers. At the end of worship, the acolytes relight their candle lighters, extinguish the altar candles, and proceed out of the sanctuary. This symbolizes that Jesus came for all, and as believers, we are to carry His Light into the world. One time, one of the acolytes catches my attention. At the end of the service, he carefully relights his candle lighter and then extinguishes the candle, his eyes intently watching the flame. As he slowly turns and reverently walks out of the sanctuary, his eyes never leave the light of his candle lighter. He focuses on the light and attends to his task; he is the bearer of the Light.
Jesus says I am the light of the world! As Christians, we are no longer to live in darkness; rather we are called to walk in the light of Jesus. 1 Peter 2:9 reminds But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Through the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the veil in the Holy of Holies was torn (Luke 23:44-46). Now, we have direct access to the presence of God; each of us is part of the royal priesthood. With this comes the responsibility of carrying the message of Jesus to others; we are bearers of the Light.
Romans 13:12 calls us to put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Like the acolyte so intentional in his attention to the light, I find my soul convicted of the many times I look away from His Light, forget to focus on His Light, am remiss in not sharing His Light. In times when darkness tries to capture my thoughts, do I put on the armor of Light? When life unfolds unexpectantly, do I put on the armor of Light? When I encounter those in need, do I tell them how to put on the armor of Light? Does my life carry this mark of Jesus ~ am I a bearer of the Light?
Holy One, let my life reflect Your Goodness. Help me to put on the armor of Light, step out into this world of darkness, and share You ~ the Light of the World! I desire to be a bearer of the Light in a fallen world. What wordless joy I find in Your presence. ~ dho