16 April 2005
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven"- Matthew 5:14-16 There is the story of a young man who lived long ago in Greece who loved to play in the rain. One day, as he was enjoying a midsummer shower, a lightning bolt suddenly split the dark sky striking the boy to the earth. The noise was so loud it attracted the attention of the people in the township. As they peered out their doors they beheld the young man lying face down in the rain. Many rushed to his aid and with tender care they placed his limp body in his mother's arms expecting the worst. Yet, something amazing happened. He survived the bolt with little harm to his body. The only side affect was that his skin glowed with a radiant phosphorus hue. Though they thought it would disappear in a matter of time, it continued with a constant brightness all the day long. And though it was quite apparent in the day, it was most apparent at night. As a result of his light, the people named him Phos which is the Greek word for light! At first, the boy loved the attention it brought him. But after many months the novelty wore off and he found his light to be a burden. Wherever he went, everyone knew him. Everything he did was under the scrutiny of every eye. So, he began to hide his light. When he would go out at night, he would wear thick garments with a hood to hide his light so that the people would not see the places he was going and the things he was doing. You see, Phos was like many Christians. Thought he had light, he did things he should not have been doing, he went places he should not have been going and he was with people he should not have been with. So, he hid his light. This toilsome burden went on for many years until one day he came to himself. He thought, "Why am I going to all this trouble to hide my light to do evil things when I could be doing something good and be seen by all around me. So he changed his behavior……and his clothing. Every day, Phos would be seen doing good things. He was quick to help the aged. He spoke kindly to his family. On Sunday, he was seen walking into the house of God and on Sunday night, his light would be seen walking up the church steps. It had an impact upon his friends and the people of the community. They saw that his countenance had changed. Rather than being cross and negative, he was now peaceful and happy. So, as a result of Phos, all that knew him began to do as he did and they, too, found the joy of serving others. You might ask, what finally happened to Phos and so I will tell you. Though his radiance remained with him all the days of his life, he did get married and have a godly family. And the most interesting thing about his family was this: all of his children inherited his light. Their skin glowed with the same phosphorus hue as their father's. As a result, they were known far and wide as the children of Phos. So, my message today is to every Christian who has been illuminated by our heavenly Father, the Father of lights, for if you are a true Christian you have been struck by a powerful bolt from above. You have been quickened and your heart has been changed. The Bible speaks of Christians as children of light. We, too, can hide our light as Phos did. We can be ashamed of it and put it under a bushel and what a burden that is. So, we must ask this question. What do I know and how can I share it? What can I give and how can I give it? What needs to be done and how can I do it? What has my heavenly Father given me that I am hiding under the bushel? Let your light so shine before men that the may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Lord, help us to shine!