Although Thomas Edison was not the inventor of the electric light bulb, twenty others came before his, he did produce the first commercially viable one – the first practical one, and literally changed the way we live after dark.
Prior to the light bulb, folks burned lamp oils or used natural gas (rather dangerous) for illumination. I still have my mother’s old kerosene lamp, from nearly a century ago, when there was no access to electricity in rural areas. Mama’s lamp is made of clear glass. It consists of a bowl on a pedestal. The bowl serves as a reservoir for the kerosene. The lamp is equipped with a wick protected by a glass chimney. The cotton wick dipping down absorbs the fuel, and produces a light when ignited.
I love the lamp because it was Mama’s and there’s something romantic about it, but never would I trade it for the light switch on my wall and the bulb it illumines with one touch.
Truth is we cannot live without light. Oh, there are some parasitic plants that can live in complete darkness for a time, but no plant can live forever without sunlight, and there are some pale, furtive, multi-legged, eyeless animals that live in the dark of caves. However, aside from a few exceptions, life demands light.
I live in Arizona, in the “Valley of the Sun.” This valley gets 211 days of full sunshine each year plus 85 days of partial sunshine. Yet, my doctor tells me that I must take Vitamin D capsules, because I don’t get enough sun. I must admit that I actively avoid it, particularly in July and August, but to be healthy, I must be exposed to light.
Also, to be safe I need light. I have never used a night light. I just didn’t think I needed one. However, a few months ago, I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and fell over my recumbent bike that sets in my bedroom floor. The bike hadn’t moved, but somehow I had strayed off my beaten path and nearly broke my neck. Now, with the bathroom light on, I leave the door open a crack. That makes all the difference. Fact is we must have light in order to be safe.
To dispel the darkness- to find our way we need light. We use flashlights, headlights, lighthouses, spotlights, floodlights, strobe lights, and for some reason, I think of the torch lifted high by The Statue of Liberty, and the words of Emma Lazarus.
“Give me your tired, your poor huddled masses yearning to breathe free…
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
For well over one hundred years, that torch has been a symbol of light to immigrants from all over the world saying, “Welcome! You have found your way home.”
Not only our physical and mental being demand light in order to survive, but that spiritual part of me must also be illumined.
Genesis 1:1-3, tells us, “… God created the heavens and the earth… and darkness was upon the face of the deep…Then God said, “Let there be light, and there was light.”
Genesis 1:16, “Then God…made the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.”
Now, for all these years, since creation, people and animals and plants have grown and flourished in the light of the sun, moon, stars, and the God given ingenuity of men. I can’t imagine living without that marvelous light.
Sadly, though, I must admit that we live in a darkened world today. Oh, the sun, moon, and stars are still functioning, but our world is darkened by hatred and bigotry, by strife and politics and greed and dishonesty. No lighthouse or floodlight, however powerful, can dispel this kind of darkness.
The only antidote to this darkness is Jesus Christ Himself, who said, in John 8:12, “…I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
Jesus, the Son of our Creator, Jesus, who was there with the Father, when light was born, declares Himself to be the “Light of the World.” He is ready to come into your life, any willing life, and dispel the darkness that lurks there.
If you are a follower of Christ, you need not fear the darkness for you have the “Light of Life,” and according to Matthew 5:14 & 16, “You (also) are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” So—“Let your light shine before men…”
Can you imagine what a faithful, shining army of Christ followers could do to push back the darkness that rules our world?
LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE!
REMEMBER, THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW