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.”
I’m currently reading a book by Charlie Connelly called “Attention to Shipping.” It’s billed as “a journey round the shipping forecast,” and in it, Charlie visits places in each of the areas of the shipping forecast. If you’re a fan of this bizarre Radio 4 institution, like me, it’s a great read. I’ve just read the section on Cromarty, in which the author learns all about Bell Rock Lighthouse. This amazing building was constructed by Robert Stevenson (the grandfather of writer Robert Louis Stevenson) to stand atop the Bell Rock, one of the most notorious rocks off the Scottish coast. The lighthouse was built because many boats had grounded on the rock, and many sailors had been killed. The Bell Rock Lighthouse celebrates it’s 200th birthday this year, and throughout that time, it has guided ships through the darkness, preventing them from being dashed on the rocks.
In today’s verse, Jesus describes himself as the “light of the world, “ and says that those who follow him will never walk in darkness, but have the light of life. Just as the Bell Rock lighthouse directs ships away from the rocks that would wreck them, so too Jesus illluminates the darkness of the world around us, and helps to draw us closer to God. The darkness of the world – namely the sin that exists all around us – has the potential to destroy our lives. If we chose to ignore the light of Christ, and to live in the darkness, we are doomed to an eternity of separation from God. If, instead, we follow Jesus, he will illuminate a clear way for us so that when the time comes we can be reunited with God in his new creation. When we follow Christ, we too have that light, and shine as beacons to those around us. Christ will shine through us, and bring those who we encounter to God. It is doubly important, then, that we choose to follow the light of Christ!
Do you chose to follow Jesus, the light of the world, or do you prefer to wallow in the darkness? Does the light of Christ shine through you, so that people might know Christ because of your example?