Assignment: Read Matthew 5:14-16. Which metaphor speaks to you the most and why? Write a brief response.
“You are the light of the world. …let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
Today’s journal response comes from Interstate 77 South as I am coming home with my Dad from visiting
Cedarville University in Ohio. (Ah, the senior year of high school…)
The reason this metaphor of the light stood out to me the most of those used in this passage is partly because of my experience at Cedarville. There, the university’s Center for Biblical and Theological Studies (BTS), as our tour guide explained is structured around this theme of the ‘light of the world.’ Constructed with large walls of windows and daylight in every classroom, the symbolism is that the building soaks in sunshine during the day, just as its students are soaking in the Word of God. Yet during the night, the edifice’s countless glass panes allow it to be a beacon, glowing with light in the darkness. I found this light-in, light-out metaphor so fascinating because it illustrates the key truth that we are not the light of the world on our own. In John 8:12, Jesus also calls Himself the Light of the world, for He is the ultimate Light. We have no light in and of ourselves; our light comes from the Sun – the supreme, self-sustaining source of light, warmth, and light.
This idea brings to mind the often-made analogy moon-and-sun analogy. The moon has no light in and of itself. On its own, it is nothing but a cold, lifeless rock. But the reason it glows so beautifully at night is because it reflects the light of the sun.
Along these lines, another analogy is found in the up and coming field of solar power. Some amazingly clever people have realized that using a certain dark-colored panel, we can absorb energy from the sun throughout the day so that we can use its energy (just as Paul mentioned in Colossians, saying, ‘I labor… with all His energy…’) to produce a luminance that shines before men.
We need to follow in our lives this pattern of Cedarville’s BTS, of the moon , and of solar panels, taking His light in so that we can shine His light out, and that men may see our good deeds and praise our Father in Heaven.