‘God is light, and in him is no darkness at all’ (1John1:5)
We are told to walk in the light (Eph5:8). The closer we are to the light, the more we will reflect it and the brighter our walk will be. But if we start to move away from the light, the laws of physics dictate that our reflection of the light fades quicker than we may expect. Our lives will be darker, too, if we put barriers between ourselves and God. Also, a small amount of light can overcome a great deal of darkness. So, let’s stay close to God and remove the barriers between us and him so that our lives will shine the gospel to everybody we come into contact with!
If you stand by a source of light, and then move twice as far away from it, you will be reflecting a quarter of the light that you were (and not a half). Equally, if you move four-times as far away from the light, you will reflect 1/16th of the light. This is because of the ‘inverse square law’, which tells us that the intensity of light falls off with the square of distance from the source. On the other hand though, if we move twice as close to the source of light, we reflect four-times as much light, not a double dose. It’s easy to see how this relates to our Christian walk: if we move away from God, we miss out on more light than we may expect, but if we move towards him, our lives are made brighter, perhaps in unexpected ways.
Another important characteristic of light is that it can only travel in straight lines, and not around corners. So, if we put up barriers between us and God, we will begin to reduce the amount of light that we can receive.
Finally, a small amount of light can displace a large amount of darkness (Matt 5:14). Matthew paints a picture of a town on a hill at night, which cannot be hidden and is visible for miles around. If you need any evidence that this picture is true, speak to somebody who can remember the attempts to blackout cities in the Second World War; they’ll tell you how difficult it is to hide a city at night! For us, this means that our small attempts at living a bright and Godly life can have a big effect on those around us (Eph 5:11).
God is the ultimate source of all light, and Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12). Our mission is to reflect the light of God and the life of Jesus, and the closer we are to the source of light, the easier this will be!