This Little Light of Mine

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:3-6

Light versus darkness imagery is often used in the Scriptures to describe the spiritual struggle of proclaiming God’s love and truth in a hostile world. In our reading for today, the Apostle Paul reminds the Corinthian Christians that nonbelievers are often “blinded” to the Gospel because of the darkness that has enveloped humanity through “the god of this world.” It is the mission of the faithful to display the light and glory of Christ in their hearts and lives.

One of my favorite resources for spiritual growth is a book/website called “Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals” (commonprayer.net). It offers daily morning, midday, and afternoon prayers. A recent morning prayer included the classic children’s song “This Little Light of Mine.” As I sang through the lyrics in my head, I started to appreciate the depth and simplicity of this tune in a way I don’t think I ever have before. In it we celebrate that every believer has a “little light” that’s meant to shine in the vast sea of darkness. It is our sacred calling to “let it shine” no matter the circumstances or what powers might try to snuff it out. What a great temptation it is to look at the state of creation and despair! Selfishness, violence, and oppression can often seem to overwhelm whatever godliness might exist here on this earth. But, as the little children’s song reminds us, we have the light of God shining in our hearts, and we must press on in proclaiming the Gospel. As Michael Costa sang for us in worship on Sunday: “You don’t have to change the world just help it keep on turning.” May we learn to let our little light shine wherever God may lead us each day trusting that Christ will grow his Kingdom in ways we could never imagine!