February 06, 2017

When Candles Won’t Light

Matthew 5:14-16; Luke 8:16-18

No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.

—  Luke 8:16

In his book God Came Near, Max Lucado tells a story about four candles that didn’t want to leave their storage closet during a power outage. When the owner went to find them and light them so that he could see in the dark, the candles began to talk. They did not want to leave.

One candle said he needed more preparation. Another one was too busy. Another said she was not qualified. The last one said that giving light was not her gift.

Of course that was just a story. Candles don’t talk. But that story reflects some of our attitudes when it comes to letting our light shine out to others, so that people see God working in our lives and give him praise, as Jesus taught.

We too have our excuses. Some of us feel we need more training before we can tell others about Jesus. Some of us look at our own lives and feel we don’t have the right to talk about the Lord because of our own failures. Others of us simply concentrate on doing other things.

The Lord is quick to set us straight. We are the light of the world, he said, just as he is the light. We need to let go of our excuses and simply let our light shine. Ask yourself today, “How and where can I let my light shine?”

Father in heaven, give us the grace and willingness to be what you have intended us to be so that we will let our light shine for Jesus. In his name, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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