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A Light in the World

Updated on June 19, 2013
BlossomSB profile image

Bronwen was a teacher for over forty years. Degrees include School Librarianship, Psycholinguistics and Theology, and Applied Linguistics.

Lantern Festival in Taipei, Taiwan
Lantern Festival in Taipei, Taiwan | Source

Lantern Festival

Lanterns wink and bob in the breeze along the streets, in parks and meeting places and in temples. It is the Lantern Festival, the final event of the Chinese New Year in Taipei, Taiwan. The Lantern Festival commemorates an old Chinese legend.

The story goes that a kindly villager rescued a small snake that he had found injured. Although China was in the grip of a deadly drought and food was scarce, the man cared for the snake and sustained it with his own scanty food supply. With this kindly care, the snake recovered and the man released it. Immediately, the drought miraculously ended. Now, this snake was really a god. He had been expelled to earth by the Heavenly Emperor for having misbehaved. The villagers lit their lanterns to find him. They wanted to thank him for ending their terrible drought.

It became a tradition that each year they light their lanterns so that they can search for the snake to give him their thanks.

Prayer-wheels on a Float at a Lantern Festival in Taiwan
Prayer-wheels on a Float at a Lantern Festival in Taiwan | Source

Jesus, the Light of the World

Light is important to humankind around the world. It plays a vital part in Christianity. Candles are lit in churches to symbolise the presence of Christ in worship services; a candle is often presented to the newly-baptised to signify the handing on of the presence of Christ as a light in the person's life.

Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8.12) If we follow Him, putting our faith and trust in Him, have our sins forgiven through the gift of His sacrifice, and try to live in the way that would be pleasing to Him, we will have eternal life.

Jesus is the Light of the World
Jesus is the Light of the World | Source

Let our Lights Shine

There are many passages in the Bible that mention the importance of light. St. Matthew quotes many of the sayings of Jesus in his record of the Sermon on the Mount. In one of these, Jesus instructed His followers to let their light shine before others so their good works can be seen and so God will be given the glory (Matt. 5.16). Jesus also told us that we are to be lights in the world. Are we? Or do we allow our lights to be hidden under a basket (Matt. 5.14) or under a haze of the rush of modern living?

  • No Time: In these days of busy-ness, are we sometimes too busy, or even too selfish, to help others, to give a hand to neighbours in a time of need?
  • A Gossip: A little 'harmless' gossip, a snide hint here and there; it can quickly escalate into a full-blown character assassination. St. Paul tells us that the tongue is our most unruly member. Remember, if I point my finger at a neighbour, there are three more pointing back at me!

When we are saved by faith, we may wonder how we can share God's light, His peace and life, in good works. Perhaps we feel that as part of the church, that is taken care of by the church's caring agencies that receive our Sunday offerings. Not so.

Long ago, God gave Isaiah a really important message that is still pertinent for Christians today: share your food and clothes; open your home to others; help your neighbours; remember your own relatives and family (Is. 58.7-10).

A Light in Our Small Corner
A Light in Our Small Corner | Source

Our Small Corner

We may think that we are very small fry; that we are not important; that we do not have much to contribute in the world, but I often think of that song we learned in Sunday School: "Jesus Bids Us Shine." The verses end with "You in your small corner, and I in mine." We have a small corner and it is our choice whether we hide our light there or let it shine to give God the glory.

If we follow Jesus who lights our way to the Father, through Him we grow spiritually and our lights glow gradually more and more brightly. Our good deeds are not counted like Brownie points, but we do them as a thanksgiving to God for His Love and care. We witness in the way we live in our neighbourhood, sharing the Good News with our friends. If we live faithfully, following Jesus, the Light of the World, and allow our light to shine, no matter how small and insignificant it is, we glorify God.

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    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 4 years ago from Fontana

      Beautiful! Little becomes much when we place it in the Master's hand. God uses ordinary people to do the extraordinary.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I do not understand your timing. Is Taiwan on a different calendar than most lunar notions?

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 4 years ago

      Inspiring . What light can do/ is doing.

      One thing , puzzling though : why Jesus so early in His earthly ministry told to His followers," you are the light of the wold..."

      Then you have this important question " are we ? "

      In my humble opinion , ' we are visible, even without talking at all, we are being seen...' ( tough )

      Up & beautiful

    • cleaner3 profile image

      cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      very sweet write about light ... energy we often just take the light for granted . when you pass they say you see a white light which metaphorically speaking is energy .. it is the Lord coming to take you to heaven.. nice write Blossom.

      bless You

      Michael

    • profile image

      Marcia Ours 4 years ago

      The brightest light is Jesus. And, true that we have to watch what we say. We can destroy people with our words. It's important to let our lights shine; and to serve others.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Blossom, Your words ring true. There is much we as individuals can do to ease the suffering and poverty in the world. It takes a village. To me that shines a light not necessary seen by the world, but felt inside and most importantly God Knows. Thank you. The history of the snake was interesting..

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and awesome. Inspiring. The Lord can certainly light the way as long as we have faith. Passing this on.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      dianetrotter: That is so true.

      Ericdierker: No, they follow the lunar calendar; Chinese New Year is coming up next month. It's a great time of feasting as well, so this is just to whet the appetite!

      Michael-Milec: I think Jesus told his followers this because they were Jews, God's chosen people, and he was telling them it was their responsibility to spread the Good News. Thank you for your helpful comments.

      cleaner3: There's a dark tunnel, but it's warm and friendly, not scary and the light is at the end. May God bless you, too.

      Marcia Ours: Yes, we know what we should do, the only problem is that we don't always do it!

      always exploring: As writers, we always love stories. Thank you for your comments; the light is inside, but Jesus told us not to hide it - not always easy!

      Gypsy Rose Lee: Thank you. For me, faith involves trusting. As we trust that the light will go on when we press the switch, we have faith in God that when we trust Him He will show us our small corner where we can shine for Him.

      God bless you all!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Interesting and beautiful Blossom ;thank you for sharing this gem.

      Eddy.,

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Eiddwen: Thank you for your lovely comment, Eddy. Have a great day!

    • profile image

      oceansider 4 years ago

      Hi Blossom, I appreciate what you wrote here because it is what Jesus wants....this is a good reminder of what we can be doing to reach out and help others in our little corner of the world. Sharing our food, clothing, loving others, spending time with them, being there to listen when they are hurting.....yes there are many ways to bless others!......these are things that bring glory to Jesus Christ our Lord!

      I love your hub and vote it up and will share as well.....

      May God bless you.....Helen

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Such a beautiful and inspirational read and you fill my soul with light. You are so right - the symbolism of light is woven through many cultures and beliefs.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      oceansider: That is so true and what it is all about - bringing glory to our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you, Helen, for your comments and your vote.

      shiningirisheyes: How beautiful! Thank you.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Dear Mr.s Blossom : Very nice, and good advice in it too. Lovely work, and very interesting. God Bless You, and You're wonderful loved ones.

    • profile image

      Donnaisabella15 4 years ago

      Very inspiring, thank you.

    • Isa28 profile image

      Isa28 4 years ago

      I found this very helpful in my search for Jesus:

      http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-TRUE-JESUS-and-M...

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 3 years ago from Southern Minnesota

      I enjoyed this devotion and exhortation to share the light that was ignited in us, through the forgiveness of sins in Jesus, by loving and blessing others the way God in Christ has loved and blessed us and not from any merit of our own.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      stars439: Bless you, too. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I haven't heard from you for ages, I hope that you're OK. Sorry I didn't see your comment before.

      Dannaisabella15: Thank you for your comment.

      Isa28: I'm so glad that it was helpful and I'm really sorry that I did not see your comment before. I hope that all is well with you.

      Tamarajo: That's so true - we do not have any merit of our own, it's only through Jesus that we can be forgiven and come to God.

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