2/7/99, E5A

“This Little Light of Mine”
Matthew 5: 14-16

 read a true story recently about a blind woman who had a simple operation that restored her sight after fifty years. The sad part is that the procedure had been available for thirty years, she just did not know about it. In our text Jesus is spreading the word that nobody needs to remain in spiritual darkness. Through faith in him, we “...are the light of the world.” We can not only have light, but we can become light for others.

Who have been reflectors of divine light in your life? If you are like me, many dear faces flood your soul: Precious persons who have molded us into the persons we are. I am very much aware that I am a complicated jig saw puzzle that hopefully forms a whole picture made up of little bits of light from so many. My memory of them is probably bigger than life. Most would be surprised to know their influence on my life. Some were spiritual giants, but most were simple folks who have led quiet lives perhaps not knowing the impact of their light.

Let me mention one whom I have not told you about before. Mervin Rowe is just a few years older than me, but when we were boys he seemed almost a man. He was one of those straight arrows that did everything right. When he built a model airplane it looked real; it was real, it was a real model airplane: And Mervin was a real model Christian. Back in North Carolina then they used high school boys to drive the big yellow buses overflowing with country school children; Mervin drove my route and none of us cut up at all. We revered Mervin. Sure, every now and then some bully would show off, but all Mervin would have to do was call out his name and he would back off.

Grown up Mervin still shows up when I preach anywhere near Lexington. He missed work to come the last time I was up there. He cried quiet tears of joy; I think he knows that somehow through God’s grace there is a little bit of Mervin’s light reflected in me. Of course, he would be the first one to say that it is no light of his at all, but it is the bright light of Jesus that was ignited in his heart at a real young age. What a guy!

That’s the way Jesus wants it to work. He wants us everyone to be bright and shining lights, so that anyone we come near will surely catch a peek at the at the person that they could become.

But, the truth is that most of the time we are more afraid of the light than we are of the darkness. We have become accustomed to the darkness. We are familiar with feeling our stumbling way through the maze of life. We have found a dark hole and have crawled into it and we feel almost safe; but we still hear the demons howl: they can see us in the dark.

Sometimes folks are caught in the predicament of that blind woman who wasted thirty years in darkness because nobody told her about the operation.

The currently playing movie, “At First Sight,” starring Val Kilmer, and based on a true story of a man from Atlanta who lived much of his life sightless; but, met a woman and fell in love. She found out for him about a new surgery that could possibly restore his sight. At first, he did not want to change. He was real good at being blind; but he wanted to see her face, and it was her light that gave him light.

We were all born spiritually blind and needed someone to point us to the light. Now that we walk in light, it is mine, and your great joy to, “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (v. 16, NIV).

Most of us are a bit shy when we think of intentionally letting our light shine and our good works put on display. Sometimes the best of us are the most reluctant shiners. Maybe the thing that could free us up is to realize that what little we have to display is not our own doing, but that it is a byproduct of being a child of light. The marvelous way that Jesus’ plan for lighting up the hearts of everyone is supposed to work, is that by giving Him credit, we are pointing others to Him; which is the goal anyway. Isn’t it a great plan, so practical, yet so divine? We simply allow God to put a glow in our soul, and then we go share the joy.

It sounds a lot like a Tupperware party. Or a bunch of guys talking about the glory of Craftsman tools. There is actually no marketing strategy that equals the unsolicited testimony of a satisfied customer. Just ask me about my Toyota. Or don’t ask me and I’ll tell you about it anyway. I witnessed to a lady at DeKalb Tire store last Wednesday about my 105,000 miles of problem free driving, but I shut my mouth when she told me that she was happy with her $ 100,000 German version of the Toyota. In fact, she pulled out a hard bound twenty-five page brochure she had just picked up at the dealership, and started witnessing to me about how her next one was going to be even bigger. Now there was no professional salesperson around, just two strangers bragging about which car is best.

Of course I did subliminally get a word in for the light too. It is real easy for me because people always ask me what kind of work I do. They probably suspect that I am a used car salesman, but it opens the door to tell them that I am pastor of this great church--- and they always look amazed! But then they know that I am a professional light salesman, and they expect the other shoe to drop, but I don’t drop it--- I let the light shine on its own, for its the light if Him that has shined on me so long ago through: Mervin, and my Momma, and my preacher Dad, and by good brother Eddie, and my Me Maw Sides, and Uncle Winfred, and especially my lovely bride of 33 years, add my coaches to the long list, the scout masters too, my many teachers, and college professors, the fellow pastors, and the many, many, many saints of God in my pastoral appointments along the way. What a great bunch of shining lights that have brought me along. How could I let them down? How could I have any greater desire than to follow their example?

Jesus had the right idea in calling us to be light bearers. Lets let our little lights shine!

a sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor

2/7/99, E5A