Tuesday, June 2, 2009

This Little Light of Mine

Do you remember singing the song, “This Little Light of Mine”, when you were a kid? How long has it been since you sang it? Do you remember the words? The song repeats “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” Several times, followed by “Let it shine, shine, shine, let it shine.”

The second verse repeats, “Hide it under a bushel…NO! I’m gonna let it shine.” Do you remember, as a child, shouting “NO!” as loudly as you could, since it was the only time you could yell in church without getting into trouble?

This little song has some great truth to it. It is based on scripture. Three of the four Gospels record Jesus saying the word that inspired the song. 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 NKJV. See also Mark 4:21 and Luke 11:33)

In 1995, I visited Hawaii. My family stayed on the big island of Hawaii at a very nice resort. This should have been the trip of my life, but I never got over the time difference and the food was a little bit too “gourmet” for my “cheeseburger and hot wings” taste.

All in all, I’m glad I went. I got to see manta rays up close, watched dolphins play alongside out boat, and enjoyed the activities provided for us by Toyota, and the resort. However, the most fun thing I did was a helicopter tour of the island.

On this helicopter tour, we were shown lush tropical areas only accessible by air, coastline, one of the largest working ranches in the US, and of course volcanoes. The pilot took us to Volcanoes National Park and flew us over Kilauea, which is one of the most active volcanoes in history. From there he flew along the route of the lava flow to the sea.

Red lava flowed down the hill and into the ocean from Kilauea. There was a great deal of steam rising from the ocean where the molten rock met the water. It was truly amazing to view. Near this site, he flew us over Kalapana.

The town of Kalapana sits on the coast of the big Island, along with it’s subdivision named Royal Gardens. You can buy a lot there pretty cheap, because in 1990 it was covered 50 feet high in lava from Kilauea. When I saw it from the air, there was nothing but black lava rock. There was a sign on part of it that read, “For Sale by Owner”. The funny thing about the Royal Gardens subdivision in Kalapana is that the owners of the lots there still have the deeds to the property. They still own it; they just can’t do anything with it.

As Christians, we are sometimes like this town that was once thriving. However, because of sin, we allow our Christian witness to be covered by layers of destructive material. In fact just like this town, our Christian witness or “light”, cannot be seen at all sometimes, because we have covered it with black, hardened sin, like lava-rock.

God has given us the greatest story ever told. He will also give us the strength and courage to tell it. He never intended for us to light that candle and hide it. He wants you to share with others what God has done for you. So, “Hide it under a bushel…No!” Let it shine!!

Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops (Matthew 10:27 NKJV)

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