Due to its location among sheer mountains and its northern latitude, Rjukan, Norway, does not see natural sunlight from October to March. To lighten up the town, the citizens installed large mirrors on the mountainside to reflect the sunrays and beam sunlight into the town square. The continuous glow is made possible because the giant mirrors rotate with the rising and setting sun.
I like to think of the Christian life as a similar scenario. Jesus said His followers are “the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14). John the disciple wrote that Christ the true light “shines in the darkness” (John 1:5). So too, Jesus invites us to reflect our light into the darkness around us: “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). That is a call for us to show love in the face of hatred, patience in response to trouble, and peace in moments of conflict. As the apostle Paul reminds us, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light” (Eph. 5:8).
Jesus also said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Our light is a reflection of Jesus the Son. Just as without the sun the large mirrors of Rjukan would have no light to reflect, so too we can do nothing without Jesus.
Teach us, Lord, what it is to reflect Your light, especially when life’s demands can tempt us to live selfishly. Help us today to live in Your love.
Reflect the Son and shine for Him.
The concept of light shining in the darkness is one of the primary themes of John’s writings, but it also has a strategic place in Matthew’s gospel. After Jesus returned from being tempted by Satan in the wilderness, Matthew records the launching of Jesus’ public ministry by quoting the words of Isaiah the prophet: “The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (Matt. 4:16; Isa. 9:2). These words provide the context for Jesus’ instruction in today’s reading about being a light to others.