10/15/2016 - "You are the Light!"
We like to know that Jesus – the same Jesus that said, “I am the Light of the world” (John 8:12) – said to His disciples (and implicitly to us), “You are the light of the world” (Matt 5:14). When I look at these two statements, a question that comes to my mind is, “Can I be like Jesus?” Did Jesus mean to say that we can do for this world what He did for us? The role of a light is to shine. If a light bulb, a candle or a flashlight does not shine when you need it, it doesn’t matter how much money you invested in it. It is good for nothing. Of course we have limits in our mission for this world: Jesus is the Creator, we are the creatures, but He tells us that light cannot be ignored when it is shining. More than this, a light cannot be called light
, when it is not shining. I ask this question to us as a church: “How much do people around us know us?” We proudly say that “we are God’s people with a special mission for this world.” And we are right; the Seventh-day Adventist Church is Laodicea, the seventh church from the book of Revelation. Beyond the name of the church, what else is relevant for this people? There is something more important than the name. It is our mission. What do people around us know about us?
Last week, I was in a public place. Just behind me, there were two people speaking a foreign language. Because I had to wait a long period of time, I turned to them and asked, “What language do you speak?”
“Lithuanian” both of them said.
And from there, we started to talk about different topics; one of which was our religion. When I told them that I belong to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, one of them said, “I know your church. You don’t eat meat, you don’t listen to music and you don’t dance.” The conversation was longer and interesting. After half an hour, I left them, asking myself, “Is this all that people know about our church, our doctrine, our belief, our mission, and our call is that we don’t eat meat, don’t listen to music and don’t dance?” Who is responsible for people not knowing more about us?
If I am in a forest at midnight looking for the right direction, surrounded by confused and frightened people, nobody will know that I have a flashlight if I keep it off. If I turn it on, I don’t have to say, “I have a light. Follow me because I can see the path that leads us to a safe place.” My brother and my sister, please, keep your light on! Now is the time of darkness; now it is midnight. People need a light. Nobody needs a flashlight without batteries, a light bulb that is not connected to a source of power, or an extinguished candle. Shine for Jesus because He said, “You are the light of the world!”