Moving from Darkness Into the Light
Arlene Dean shared the following devotional at our last Session meeting. It was so appropriate; I wanted to share it with you. May it be an inspiration to you throughout your Lenten journey.
– Rev. Lynne
During the early days of trains, a flagman would take his place in the middle of the street- stopping all traffic as a train approached. During the day he would hold up a STOP sign. At night he would wave a lantern. There is an old story about a flagman and his lantern that goes like this.
There was an accident one dark night at a railroad crossing. A lawsuit followed, and during the proceedings the flagman was called to take the witness stand. The prosecuting attorney asked the usual questions. Then followed an important one. He asked “On the night of the accident, when you saw the car approaching, did you wave the lantern?” The flagmen answered, “Yes, I waved the lantern.” The attorney for the prosecution continued with other questions, but before long he came to the same one, “Did you wave that lantern?” “Yes,” answered the flagman, “I did wave the lantern.” The case seemed to hinge on this bit of testimony. The prosecutor realized it, and so once more he thundered, “I ask you again, when you saw the car approaching the crossing, did you wave the lantern?” Once again, the flagman answered, “I did. Yes, I waved the lantern.” The railroad company won the case. No damages were allowed. Later, the defense attorney was talking to the flagman. He said, “The prosecuting attorney really had me worried when he kept asking, ‘Did you wave the lantern? Did you wave the lantern?’ “Well”, said the flagman, “What worried me was that he might ask, ‘Was the lantern lit?’”
There is so much waving of dead lanterns. What about ours? The purpose of lanterns and lamps is to give light – to shine. The Bible has some important things to say about lights and about shining. It speaks of God’s own Word as “a LAMP unto our feet and a LIGHT unto our path.” Ps. 119:105. Our precious Savior refers to Himself as “THE LIGHT”, and He says of us, His followers, “You are the LIGHT of the world.” As lights, we are not to be like the flagman’s dead lantern, but rather, we are to shine – not as a flickering flame, but as a steady light. How did it happen that we, who were once in darkness, the darkness of unbelief and separation from God are now lights? This is a miracle of God’s grace. We are “the light of the world” not because of “any merit or worthiness in us”, not because of our shrewdness or intellectual cleverness or our scientific genius, but we have become the “light of the world” only because we have been touched and transformed by Christ. Throughout our lives, and especially during the Lenten season, Christ calls us out of the darkness and into His incredible light to show forth his praises. The questions we each must honestly answer constantly are …are our lanterns lit and if so, are they shining as brightly as Jesus would ask of us? May you shine ever brighter this season and this year!