Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 NKJV
In the dawn of time, God separated the light from the darkness. The ancient man experienced the sun in the sky during the day and the moon and stars at night, but there was no other illumination source. The light vanished when they took refuge in their caves, leaving them fumbling about in the dark. Imagine, then, that first electrical storm, that first time lightning struck a tree and fire was born. Seeing it, they must have been amazed at this new light source. Likely, after a few false starts, they discovered how to collect the fire, use it, and keep it alive; they must have cherished this new technology.
Today, of course, the modern world takes this light for granted. We walk into a dark room and flip on a switch. But, even in areas where electricity isn't standard, the ease of starting a fire has evolved. No more waiting for lightning to strike; you use your trusty Bic lighter to ignite the tender.
My point is that we take light for granted, physical and spiritual. As a result, we fail to cherish the light Christ gives us. Like a flashlight, we may occasionally turn it on when we need to see, but most of the time, we leave it turned off to save the batteries, keeping it stowed for the next emergency.
But Jesus tells us to keep the light alive, to tend and use it. We keep the flame burning brightly through spiritual discipline, prayer, and study. By its light, we are guided as we witness and care for our neighbors. Through these works, we ignite other flames. Think of it as lighting unlit candles from a burning one.
God of light, thank you for the illumination you brought into the world through Jesus Christ. Help us follow his example by sharing your light unabashedly with the world. May our works shine so that others might recognize your glory, not for our benefit but yours. Amen.