One of my all time favorite classes in middle school was the photography class I took in 6th grade. Mind you, I was in 6th grade in 1987. Digital photography was still a dream in the future so we students were taught how to expose film on an old camera. We were taught how to manually do all of the things digital cameras do for us today. I loved going out shooting photos, waiting for the right light, finding interesting subjects, but what appealed to me the most was developing the film. There were no digital screens to preview the photos after taking them. No, we were forced to wait patiently until a roll of film was spent before we could anxiously make our way to the dark room. Best of all was watching photographs come to life in the different chemical baths. The image just magically appeared right before our eyes and we could finally see the subject immortalized on paper.
Those who are photographers know that one ingredient necessary for all pictures to exist is light. Light simply reflects off the object we are shooting and the camera, like our eye, registers this reflection. According to God, He is the light and we should be reflecting God’s glory to the world around us. 1 John 1:5-7 says, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son, purifies us from all sin.” God reminds us of several things in this passage:
1. He is light. It is impossible for darkness to even exist in his presence. And yet we bring darkness to God all of the time.
2. If we claim the name Christian, God and others should see it by the way our light shines in our dark world around us.
Jesus, in Matthew 5:14-16, continues this theme by stating that, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Again, we cannot claim the name Christian and only let our light out during worship or when briefly helping others. Jesus says our light, our example, should be evident to all, bringing light to a darkened world. We do so, not to receive praise ourselves, but so others may glorify God. We must be exposed to God in order to expose Him to others. And best of all, one day we will no longer walk in darkness but walk in pure light, praising God for all of eternity.