Shining Bright Like the Son
Have you ever gone out at night when there was a full moon and you could see almost as well as if it were day? Have you ever seen the moon when it was so bright it was almost difficult to look at? I’ve seen some pretty bright moons over my years and have always been fascinated by the night sky, but I learned something recently that I had not realized in all my years.
The moon isn’t very reflective. It has a reflectiveness rating (Albedo) of only 0.12, meaning it only reflects about 12% of the light shown on it. It is actually one of the least reflective bodies in our solar system. I heard one scientist (I can’t remember his name right now) say it’s about as reflective as an old, dirty tire.
Why does the moon appear so bright in the sky? It isn’t because the moon is so great at reflecting the sun’s light, but rather because the sun is so bright and the moon is so close to the earth.
In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus says,
“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.”
When you first hear this, you may wonder, “Wait. I thought Jesus was the light of the world.” Yes, He is. As John 1 describes, Jesus is the light that came into the darkness. However, in the Sermon on the Mount here in Matthew 5, Jesus is telling us that we are the light of the world.
Much like the moon, we don’t generate our light in and of ourselves. Rather, we reflect the light of Christ. Also, much like the moon, the truth is that we don’t tend to reflect the light of Jesus very well. We sin. We mistreat people. We often live like the dark world. Thankfully, the light of Christ is bright enough to shine through that.
Jesus has called us to shine the light of Christ before others. Like the moon is near the earth, we should be near those who need the light. We should be in the world, though not of it, that others may see the light of Jesus and glorify the Father.
I confess that I do not reflect the light of Christ very well. I often see more darkness in my life than I’d like to admit. Please forgive me and help me to shine the light of Jesus to everyone around me.
In Christ’s Service,