Reflecting Light

Title: Reflecting Light

Bible Book: Selected Passages

Author: Alan Stewart

Subject: Light; Witnessing; Reflecting Christ



During the Second World War, Alexander Papaderos’ hometown, Lividas, was destroyed by the Nazis and he was placed in a concentration camp. Once the war ended, he was determined to be a force for peace and forgiveness. He studied theology, and in 1965 opened an institute designed to promote peace and reconciliation. One day while taking questions at the end of a lecture, Papaderos was asked, “What’s the meaning of life?” There was nervous laughter in the room. Papaderos did not speak a word but simply opened his wallet and took out a small, round mirror and held it up for everyone to see. During the war, he came across a wrecked motorcycle which had belonged to a German soldier. He took a large piece of a broken mirror and scratched it against a stone until its edges were smoothed and it was round. He kept that mirror with him as he grew up, and over time it came to symbolize something very important. He took the small mirror and caught the bright rays of the sun streaming through the window and reflected them into a dark crevice beneath a desk and then onto the face of the student who asked the question. The mirror became a metaphor for what he might do with his life.

Ours is a generation that is blessed with more education, abilities, and technology than any generation that has preceded us. However, it seems that our enlightenment has also been used to invent and produce more darkness than ever before. I find it interesting that when God sent the plague of darkness upon Egypt, He told Moses in Exodus 10:21 it would be, “...even darkness which may be felt.” It speaks of a darkness so thick that men stagger, stumble, and grope in search of stability. One cannot help but see our nation has lost a sense of direction and purpose. Like turning out the lights and still recognizing momentarily the objects in the room, our eyes are slowly acclimating to the darkness and the vision of both our blessings and our dangers are fading fast. As Christians, we can choose to argue, fight, protest, or pray. But perhaps a Chinese proverb says it best, “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” Light is always the answer to darkness. In Matthew 5:16 Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Much like the moon merely reflects the light of the sun, the light we shine is to be a reflection of our Lord’s light and a reflection upon our Lord’s honor. As we brace ourselves for these dark days, what are the blessings and the benefits of shining light?

I. Light will exhibit our faith

In Ephesians 5:8, Paul wrote, “...walk as children of light.”

Our task is not to manufacture nor manipulate light, but rather to display light. Light needs no introduction nor explanation, but simply needs to shine. D. L. Moody once said, “We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does.

Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining - they just shine.” The beautiful quality about light is that no matter what it touches, light can never be defiled.

Light is always a symbol of truth and representative of God. For that reason, light is never deceptive nor can light ever be defeated by darkness. However, light will lose its effectiveness if the intensity is reduced. A great failure in our day has been a dimming of the light to make comfortable those eyes that have spent years in darkness. No matter how great the effort, light will never secure victory over darkness by negotiating away its brightness to look more like the dark. Like a diamond against black velvet, light will stand out in the dark.

Jesus noted light on display is “a city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” John the Baptist was observed as a “burning and shining light.” When the world is at its darkest, Christians should be shining at their brightest.

II. Light will expel our fears

In Ephesians 5:13, Paul wrote, “But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light...“

With every passing day, we find ourselves shocked and amazed at the evil, vile, and heinous ideologies that are parading out of the dark closets. The attitudes are arrogant and the spirit is militant. The agenda is clear; to intimidate and to dominate. What are believers to do? The answer may sound simple, but someone needs to turn the light on! Like illuminating the room after waking from a night of slumber, the bugs that roamed in the darkness now scatter and retreat into darkness. Darkness not only hates the light, but it hides from the light. Plato wrote, “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” The Sodomites came to Lot “in the night.” Saul consulted the witch “by night.” Judas went out to betray Jesus, “and it was night.” Darkness is a haven for cowards. Therefore, darkness is never comfortable with the presence of light because it does not possess the power to overthrow light. Darkness can only prevail where there is the noticeable absence of light. Although we may wonder at the unknown which still lingers in the darkness, nothing is more effective at holding it in check like Spirit-lit children of God.

III. Light will enhance our focus

In Proverbs 4:18, Solomon wrote, “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”

Light has an unusual drawing power. As a young boy, I wandered into the woods too far from home at dusk. By the time I started for home, darkness was setting in and so was panic. But, the closer I got to home, the more the light from home illuminated my path and the more confident of my direction I became. The great hope we possess in the midst of darkness is that our senses are awakened to a higher light that is leading us home.

Paul was overtaken by “a light from heaven.” Peter had “a light shine in the prison.” Stephen saw heaven opened “and saw the glory of God.” Like a homing pigeon able to find its way home from long distances, the draw of our soul is an instinct developed by the Word of God.

John Calvin wrote, “The Lord does not shine upon us, except when we take His Word as our light.” As we watch society stumble about with great difficulty like a drunken man trying to find the sidewalk he is already standing upon, we must be assured that God’s Word will forever be a beacon to guide us safely into the harbor.


If you are like me, combating the darkness of this world with my single light often leaves me feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. However, scientists have determined that a single lit candle has the potential of being seen for over ten miles. It’s not the size of your light that matters, but rather where you shine the light and whom the light falls upon!


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