5th January 2012

Keep On Glowing

“You are the light of the world.”
Matthew 5:14 (Williams)

Have you ever seen a glow worm? I have! This past week I spent some quiet time at an old Priory in East Sussex. Four of us went out one evening as it got dark specifically to hunt down these remarkable little creatures; which aren’t worms at all, but beetles. The females glow but don’t fly, and the males can fly but don’t glow! (?) We eventually located only two over a large area of grass—apparently, like so many of our wild creatures they are in decline. I found this a very inspiring encounter; my first glimpse of these amazing little beetles and the only way to describe them is…they are just like diamonds lying on the grass, lighting up the dark of night with a clear white light.

It reminded me that Jesus himself has given us this command—“And you, like the lamp, must shed light among your fellows, so that, when they see the good you do, they may give praise to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 New English Bible). This means, light up the darkness with the white light of God’s amazing love, a sacrificial love that abides in us as a gift that we are urged to share with others, whether they deserve to or not—it’s unconditional.

The Apostle John records in his gospel that “In him, (Jesus), appeared life and this life was the light of mankind. The light still shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out.” (John 1:4-5 Phillips). This amazing light still shines today; it is the life of Jesus within us—and the darkness has never, and can never, put it out!

The arrival of Messiah marks the second time God said “Let the Light shine!” This time, not to divide the night from the day, but to unite all things in heaven and on earth and to usher in a new creation. All who come to this Light that never stops shining become the children of light. (2 Corinthians 5:17 & Ephesians 1:9-10 & Ephesians 5:8 NKJV).

One tiny glow worm really does light up the night, but add a hundred or a thousand and they’d produce a great beacon of white light that would defeat the darkness.  Once again I have come to realise that even tiny things in this awesome creation have a lot to teach us here and now if we but have eyes to see and ears to hear.

Awesome Creator of the universe, you who brought this tiny light-producing beetle into existence, a little creature that stuns us with its brilliance; help us also to be aware each day of our own responsibility to glow and to shine brightly with your love and goodness—to your glory.

Study by Cliff Neill

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