The Easter concert we attended Palm Sunday included five lit candles as symbols of Christ’s life. At key points during the program, the narrator extinguished one of the candles. When he snuffed out the last candle, it wouldn’t go out. He tried several times, but the candle stayed lit, before he finally blew out the flame.
As we watched the man struggle to put out the candle, my friend whispered, “It’s the Light of the World that won’t go out.”
The unplanned symbolism seemed appropriate for the season. The Jewish Pharisees tried to snuff out Jesus’ ministry. The Romans killed many of his followers, including the first missionary, Paul. Through the centuries, millions of Christians have been martyred because they declared their undying faith in Jesus Christ.
Today, the culture and political correctness strive to extinguish the flames of believers or force them to hide their faith.
I’m reminded of two songs that were popular when I was growing up: This Little Light of Mine and Pass It On.
The first asks, “Hide it under a bushel?” The response is “No. I’m gonna let it shine.”*
The second one, which I remember singing on youth group trips, proclaims, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going…That’s how it is with God’s love.”**
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12, ESV). He also told His followers, during the Sermon on the Mount, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16, ESV).
We who follow Jesus are called to be lights in the midst of the darkness. Like that candle, we must persist in burning even when the world attempts to snuff out our flame. Those around us need to know there is only one Light of the World, and His love can never be extinguished.
How will you share the message of His sacrifice and love–at Easter and throughout the year?
* Public domain. This is the only song I know of that Billy Graham ever sang with George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows. They often sang it at Crusades and other events. Watch one of their “performances” here.
** Written by Kurt Kaiser. © 1969 Communiqué Music, Inc.