What would it be like living in the 1700’s?
As night descends, your neighborhood is cloaked in a deep, penetrating darkness. Clouds cover the sky. Nothing is visible. Even the inside of your home is pitch black except for the single candle you lit. Walking through your house, the glow of your candle illuminates only those things near to you. As you exit each room, it is once again enveloped by darkness.
In the 1700’s, the only light sources were candles, torches or lamps fueled by animal fat or vegetable oil.1 But things changed in 1880 when Thomas Edison invented a commercially practical, sustainable light – the light blub!2 Bringing light to only a few homes wasn’t enough for good old Thomas. So, in 1882, he built the Pearl Street Station providing commercial power to a whopping 513 customers by years end. Homes no longer had to be clothed in darkness, now entire neighborhoods could be brightly lit throughout the night.
So how did Thomas Edison get the power from building to building? Ahhh! He used connections!
By connecting the main power source to one building which was connected to another and then another, he lit neighborhoods. “The project involved the installation of about 80,000 ft of underground conductors in a manhole and conduit configuration.”3 Through connections, it was possible for light to penetrate the darkness.
Today, our system for connecting buildings to power is very similar. Rarely we have to worry about losing light and power with modern technology. Unless of course your neighbor forgets to call “Miss Utility” and cuts off the power to your entire neighborhood. Then everyone is plunged into darkness. But we usually view it as an inconvenience, call the utility company, go out to eat and wait for power to be restored.
Even with this rare occurrence, there is still a lot of darkness surrounding us.
I am not talking about the lack of Thomas Edison’s electricity, but the violence, hatred and wrath that surround us and evokes fear. The scripture calls this darkness works of the flesh.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21
It sounds like 2021, doesn’t it?
When we hear of people committing violence, spreading hatred and lies or trying to intimidate with fear, what do we do? Well, we follow the instruction of the scripture and pray.
Pray for those doing bad stuff?
Yes. It isn’t always easy, is it? Especially, if we have been a witness to or victim of bad stuff. But praying is what the scripture instructs us to do. Our heart may not be in it, but when we do it out of obedience to God and forgive, in His great love for us, He will help us and heal us too. It may even change the hearts of those living in darkness.
27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.
31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
35b For He (God) is kind to the unthankful and evil.
36 Therefore, be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
Luke 6:27-28, 31, 35b-36
Having trouble praying for them?
Perhaps remembering where we came from will help. We once lived in darkness too, (Ephesians 5:8).
For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:3-5
So, what can we do about the darkness?
We bring our own personal candle.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14
Do you really think my little candle will bring light?
Every light illuminates something. Standing alone as a single source of light, we are like the candle that only illuminates those things near us. When we walk away, everything is again enveloped in darkness unless we share and connect our light with others.
I think we can agree that connecting has become more challenging. Covid separated many of us. It left us alone to be a single source of light only illuminating ourselves and those living with us. The world has changed. The way we work, the way we worship and perhaps even which friends we see.
Let’s face it. It is comfortable to work at home in our sweat pants or to worship in our pj’s with our cup of coffee. Right? But our loving God designed us for relationships. To give and receive hugs, share smiles, laughter and tears. To encourage each other in faith and kindness.
God designed us to be connected so that we can illuminate the darkness with a bright light
one connection at a time.
God is the power station who gives us light.
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying,
“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12.
When we become part of God’s power grid, connecting to Him and other believers,
there is the power and the illumination of more than our single light.
What does God want you to do? Let’s ask Him about changing out of our pj’s, and going to our place of worship. If God directs you to go, then in faith step out of your comfort zone to do it. When we all get involved and connect, together we can weave a chain of light in the midst of the darkness.
Are you connecting with others who believe in Jesus? If not, is there a way for you to connect your light to others?
Heavenly Father, as I write Matthew 5:14 and say it out loud, give me wisdom on how to share and connect with others. Help me to walk in faith as the light that You have called me to be. In Jesus name, Amen.
IN FAITH, CONNECT YOUR LIGHT WITH OTHER LIGHTS
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May your day be filled with love and laughter!
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Photo taper candle Zac Cain, unsplash
Photo dog picsbyFran, pixabay
Photo hands/candle Rebecca Peterson-Hall, unsplash
Photo lights Karine Germain, unsplash