“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it 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 who is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14-16

From the time I was young, I have always loved a good book. You can ask my mom – I’ve been an avid reader ever since my first grade teacher read The Boxcar Children aloud to us in class. Even now, one of my favorite things to do at the end of the day is to curl up with a good book and get lost in someone else’s story. A series that I am currently (re)reading is The O’Malley Chronicles by Dee Henderson. The series is about a family in which all the siblings have high-profile jobs: US Marshall, Hostage Negotiator, Forensic Pathologist, etc. and the story line follows their lives and experiences. One night, while I was reading, I came across this passage:

“He’d been a Christian a long time, but some of his friends were not Christians. It was a dichotomy he had accepted over the years as the place God had put him. He couldn’t be a light among a sea of candles. It wasn’t a comfortable place to rest, constantly having to tug a dark world toward God while not getting sidetracked by it….Life was about choices, the toughest ones involving where he would put his time.”

The Truth Seeker

For several weeks I couldn’t get that passage out of my mind. Over and over I kept hearing, “you can’t be a light among a sea of candles.” You know, God calls us to be the light of the world, to shine bright in the darkness. And the more I pondered the passage from that book, the more I asking myself, where am I trying to shine? Am I trying to shine among a sea of candles? Am I trying to shine brightest among other believers? Am I trying to present the gospel to people who already know and believe it or am I trying to penetrate the darkness with the light of Christ?

Don’t get me wrong. We need other candles around us. We need to surround ourselves by those who are strong, bold lights so that we can learn from them, encourage them and get strength from them when we are weak. We need those other candles to help us make the light be a little bit bigger. But we have to be very careful that we are not focusing our energy on trying to shine brightest among other candles. Light is not brighter than light. Light is brighter than dark. At the end of the day, when we return to our candle stand, we need to have the confidence that we worked our hardest trying to penetrate the dark. We need know without a doubt that we did everything in our power to show them the love that Christ showed us. We need to know that we extended His mercy and grace towards others. We need to read our Bibles and live out what we post on social media. We need to be the “real deal” – not a fake image of a perfectly put together Christian who never struggles or gets things wrong. We need to show the world that despite our failure, there is still hope and there is still a never-ending love that we can rest in. We need to step out of our little “Christian bubble” and go to the uncomfortable places and face the hard things so that we can make a difference.

So I will ask you: where are you shining? What are you doing today that will make a difference for Christ? Are you comfortable staying in your jar shining brightly? Or are you leaving that zone of comfort and providing light for a dark world? We can’t be a light among a sea of candles…. but we can be a light to a dark world. Let’s take it there. Together we can make a difference!

Crafty Details
I started this page by stamping the candle image from Birthday Borders at the bottom of the page and coloring them in with my Prismacolor colored pencils. I then stamped the words with a combination of Bitty Minnie Alpha and Bold & Outline Alpha. I finished with some neocolor ii splatters of yellow, carmine, greenish blue and cobalt blue and a messy border drawn with my Micron pen.

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