“You are the world’s light—a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all…” Matthew 5:14-15a LB

Light is a common metaphor in the Bible. It is the natural contrast to darkness. Light illuminates, reveals and gives us understanding of murky concepts. At creation, the earth was formless and void, without light. There was no one to see or understand.  God commanded light to illuminate the earth before He created the sun, moon, and stars on the 4th day and man on the 6th day. If there had been life before then, it would have been a meaningless existence in the shadows. God called the light good; it separated light from darkness, so His creation could flourish and appreciate the difference.


Even though we experience night and day through the cycles of the sun and moon, darkness has an added connotation—historically and biblically, it is associated with evil. Children instinctively feel uneasy in the darkness. They intuitively know that not being able to see clearly is threatening. As a child, I resisted going into my grandparent’s basement because the pull-down light was halfway into the room. After carefully descending the stairs I had to feel my way, while imagining all sorts of creepy crawlies on that dirt floor. Monsters lurked in that shadowy void. Turning on the light brought relief and yes, a little embarrassment at being afraid of nothing. When the light came on, I saw the truth of things.

World System

We live in a world system that thrives on the fear and panic of uncertainty. Additionally, those who plot nefarious deeds usually shroud them in the shadows, away from the light-revealing truth. When I was a child in Georgia, we would sneak out at night with a flashlight and uncover stones and rocks to reveal the hidden creatures. We would shriek and run away after getting some nasty surprises. We saw the truth.

Love and light

Light and love have a relationship with truth. Truth reveals the hidden things—the nefarious deeds the unrighteous like to hide. Those who practice evil hate the light for it exposes them. Love demands truth even when it is unpopular or brings criticism from others. God’s love is unselfish, undemanding, and seeks the other’s well-being even if rejected. Human nature resists disapproval. We dislike correction of an attitude or an act. We do not want our unrighteous deeds exposed, lest we must do something about them. Deny, reject, or repent—those are the choices when daylight shows up the dust bunnies in our lives.

Do not hide your light

Truth does exist. It is absolute, inviolable, and eternal. As Christians, we accepted that truth—Jesus affirmed to us He was the way, the truth, and the life. He fulfilled perfect righteousness on earth. He was the Light of men and those who accept Him are His lampstands in a shadowy world that relies on speculations and assumptions. We have the Light living in us, but often we fear ridicule, rejection, and persecution for shining it. We were all formerly darkness, but now we must shine a beacon to those who continue to stumble in the darkness. We are bound to expose those things shrouded in shadows and in so doing, help others find their way. It has nothing to do with condemnation but is about helping others discover the light.

Check out the stories of men and women of the bible who gravitated to God’s light and in so doing, advanced the scarlet thread of salvation for the world.