The weather reports were calling for a warm sunny day, so a trip to the beach sounded like a good plan following the morning worship service I was preaching at. So it was up early and out the door with my family as we headed to the North Wayne Mennonite Church where I shared the morning message from Philippians 1. They are a great group of people and I enjoy sharing with them on the first Sunday of each month. By the time the church service was over, it had warmed up a little but the sun was still hidden behind overcast skies. As we left the church property, I decided we may as well head to the lake for a trip to several lighthouses that we hadn’t yet seen.
Even though the anticipated warm sunny day remained a cold cloudy day, we enjoyed a day along the lakeshore at three lighthouse locations that we hadn’t visited before. Our northern most lighthouse on this trip was the White River Light Station in Whitehall, Michigan. From there we worked our way back home with stops at Muskegon and Grand Haven to fill in the gap in our lighthouse visits as these three locations completed visits to all of the Lake Michigan lighthouses from Michigan City, Indiana northward to Ludington, Michigan. We also made a quick return stop on the way home to the South Haven lighthouse to catch the setting sun.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always enjoyed visiting lighthouses. I’m not sure what it is about them that first drew my attention — particularly since I grew up afraid of heights and my first memory of visiting a lighthouse is being at Key Biscayne, Florida where we climbed to the top of the lighthouse. I suppose the view from the top helps draw me in. But I am also fascinated by the stories of light keepers from long ago. From the time before automation and electricity made the function of the lighthouse much easier. I think about the men and women who were committed to a task of keeping the light burning solely for the benefit of those on the open water who may be lost or at least in need of some direction.
It makes me think of the statement of Jesus about those of us who would follow Him. It is easy for me to think of Jesus being the light of the world, but He proclaims that “You are the light of the world!” There are times that I’m not too sure I want so much responsibility and pressure in life. I want to be able to say, “Don’t look at me. I just work here.” Yet as Christians, you and I are called to live a life where we can say with the apostle Paul, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” While being the light of the world where you are may sound like a difficult or even impossible task, Jesus went on to tell us how it can be done. It is done when we “let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven.” We are the light of Jesus to the world when we do good to one another in such a way that it brings glory to God. And we do it for the same reason the light keepers of long ago kept at it no matter what — there are people all around us who are out on the open waters of life that are lost and/or in need of direction home.
I pray that you and I are faithful light keepers as we seek to let Jesus shine through us at all times. I pray that we recognize the great need for a clear light to shine so those who are lost and in need of direction can find their way. I pray that as we shine forth the light of Jesus that we would always keep our eyes fixed on Him as the author and perfecter of our faith.