The Candle

27 Jul

The candle…

Grandfather led us outside his living quarters where we all sat down by a table. On the table was a lit candle. The sky began to darken. When we first sat down, he said, the sun was still shining, even on the candle. The light of the candle blended in with the light of the day. The two lights were in harmony. But then what happened?

It grew dark, I said.

So now the light of the candle was no longer in harmony with its surroundings. It no longer blended in. As the sky darkened, the candle stood out more and more dramatically. It was not the candle that changed, but everything around it. So now it was shining in marked contrast to its surroundings and against the darkness.

And what does that tells us? I asked.

The candle in the day, Grandfather said, represents the believer who shines in the midst of the Christian civilization. It’s light blends in with the surrounding culture. The culture is in harmony with the light, at least on the outside, and appears to support it.

But the candle in the night represents the believer who shines in the midst of a post-Christian civilization, an apostate civilization, an anti-Christian, anti-biblical, anti-God civilization. Now the culture supports and the external props are removed. The light of the Gospel is no longer in harmony with the surrounding culture. The surrounding culture now stands increasingly in opposition to the light. The light cannot blend in. It must now increasingly stand out in contrast to its surroundings and increasingly shine against the flow. So if you had a choice, which candle would you rather be, the candle of the day or the candle of the night?

Most would say the candle of the day, I responded.

But it is the the candle of the night that changes the world. The candle that shines in the daylight can hardly be seen. But the candle that shines in the darkness can be seen miles away. It is at the very time when it’s hardest to shine the light, that it is the most crucial that you do. It is then that the light is most needed. And that is when the light becomes its most powerful. So never fear the darkness. You’re a light. Shine into it, especially into the night…and you’ll light up the world.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

Live today as a candle in the night. Don’t fear the darkness or be intimidated by it. But shine all the more brightly against the night.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

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