Lamps are wonderful things. Though they are small appliances, they have the ability to illuminate the darkness, open opportunities for discovery, and calm frightened hearts. All that potential sits in the metal base and cloth shell on my desktop.
Though lamps possess all of this amazing potential, they also have the ability to do nothing. Lamps are created to give light, but if they are not turned on, they become merely trip hazards for those stumbling about in the dark.
I was thinking about this phenomena today as I reflected upon Jesus’s statement in the Sermon on the Mount, “You are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).” Christians are recreated by Jesus to shine as lamps in the dark room of this world. We have the potential inside us (by the work of the Holy Spirit) to illuminate dark moral issues, help people discover the person and work of Jesus Christ, and calm and encourage souls in distress. All that potential sits inside the bodies of you and I.
Though we possess this amazing potential, many times we do little with it. We hide our light “under a bushel” and keep our switch flipped “off.” In doing so, we make ourselves stumbling blocks to the blind, instead of beacons.
How do we do this? I believe many of us have a people “switch” inside of us. Too much of the time, we live with this switch turned off. When we are “off” we avoid others, see the needs of others as distractions, and try to live an anonymous life. When the switch is “on” we are warm, caring, and considerate of others. When it is off, we tend to care only about ourselves.
Our switch is often “on” when we are functioning inside of a role that demands it to be “on”. We are “on” when we are teaching the Sunday school class, coaching the team, or having a planned conversation with a member in our family. We are almost always “on” in these moments.
However, we turn “off” many times in the stretches BETWEEN appointments. We may be “on” in the office, but “off” while on the way to lunch. We may be “on” in the classroom, but “off” around roommates or family. When we turn our people switch “off” we sometimes miss the biggest “appointments” of our lives.
In order to be the light of the world, we must engage the world around us. We must learn to keep our switch “on” for longer stretches, and trust God to work through us even when we have no worldly title or earthly job description. It is between appointments that God often works through us in unexpected ways.
This Sunday, we will reflect on that more together at Wildwood Community Church in our 8:15, 9:30, and 11:00 worship services as we look at Mark 5:21-43 . . . one of the New Testament’s clearest examples of God doing something awesome BETWEEN appointments when we engage with others in the moment. This message will be part 2 in the “Share” series. Hope you can join us for this time of worship together!