"I am the Light of the world." (John 8:12a) "You are the light of the world, a city set on a hill cannot be hidden." (Matthew 5:14)
* CONSTANCY As it does not change, does not move, is immutably stationary, the lighthouse is dependable. Were its light to move about, emanating from different locations, its value for avoiding danger would be nullified. Those approaching its harbor during storm and gale must know that the lighthouse has not changed locations.
As the Light of the world, the Lord Jesus is supremely constant. The writer of Hebrews states that He is "the same yesterday, today, and forever," (13:8). His divine nature (John 10:30; Colossians 2:9) cannot change (Malachi 3:6a), necessitating that His word is true, and that it cannot change, either. There is great comfort here for the Christian! With change and deterioration a continual and constant course of our daily living, the truth that our living Lord NEVER changes affords great confidence in His Word's declarations, especially His promises.
By His "precious and magnificent promises" we who've been born from above are "partakers of the divine nature" (II Peter 1:4), assured that "as many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are yes; wherefore also by Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us," (II Corinthians 1:20). If our Lord were mutable, if He could be altered, then every promise in His Word would lose its dependability, its trustworthiness. Yet, He IS from everlasting to everlasting, and not one word of all His truth will ever fail!
* PENETRATING LIGHT From the time man first ventured out onto the open sea, even to the present, there has been a need for safe navigation back to shore. Storms of every intensity increase this imperative, and especially in darkness. Without a light to mark the safe harbor, countless lives have been broken and lost on treacherous reefs and rocks. The simple casting of a strong beam of light across the dark water has served to save numberless mariners from shipwreck at the shore.
The apostle John tells us that the Lord Jesus' life was "the light of men," and that "the light shines in the darkness..." (1:4,5). From the moment Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden, mankind has been in spiritual darkness. David's testimony is universal: "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin did my mother conceive me," (Psalm 51:5). Sin results in spiritual darkness of the heart (Romans 1:21), as well as spiritual death (Ephesians 2:1). As in His absolute holiness the living God cannot abide sin (Habakkuk 1:13a), judgment against mankind's sin is inevitable: "And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil," (John 3:19). Only as the Lord Jesus reveals Himself as the Light of the world, changing man's sinful nature, is it possible to avoid the shipwreck of judgment. He said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life," (John 5:24).
Those whom He has changed He calls "the light of the world," (Matthew 5:14), and instructs us to "let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven," (v. 16). As we are led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14) we are to live lives of holiness, speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), and exhibit His winsome joy that causes others to want an explanation.
* CONSISTENT CARE Since lives are at stake, the keeping of the lighthouse is a 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year responsibility. A non-exhaustive list of the keeper's duties would include:
Light the lamp at sunset and put it out at sunrise.
Fill the lamp with kerosene before every evening.
Trim the wicks of the lamp so they don’t smoke when lit.
Clean and polish the Fresnel lens every morning.
Clean the windows of the lantern room every day.
Shine all the brass in the lighthouse.
Sweep the floors and stairs of the lighthouse every day.
Clean tower windows and sills as needed.
Clean, paint, and repair all buildings on the light station when needed.
Maintain all mechanical equipment at the light station.
Maintain lighthouse log book and record all daily light station activities.
Take weather readings every day and record in log book.
Weed the walkways and maintain the light station grounds.
Take soundings of river and inlet channels. Move channel markers as needed.
Lend assistance to ships and sailors in distress as needed.
Keep an accurate inventory of all light station equipment and fuel.
Maintain light station launch (boat) and keep in good working order.
Keep boathouse clean, organized, and in good repair at all times.
Provide visitors with tour of light station as needed.
Clean keeper dwelling chimneys as needed to prevent fire.
Do not leave light station at any time without permission.
Clean house on a regular basis and make repairs as needed.
Keep privy (outhouse/bathroom) clean. Apply lime as needed.
Stack wood properly in woodsheds.
Maintain a clean uniform at all times.
Plant and tend personal garden as needed.*
*Ponce Inlet Light Station (est. 1887)
With such vigilance involved in attending to a lighthouse, how much more time and attention should we who are followers of the Light of the world give to Him Who is life itself. Moment by moment we are to be "fixing our eyes upon Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith," (Hebrews 12:2). Seeing circumstances and people through cleansed lenses (by prayer, confession and repentance), we are to be full of light (Matthew 6:22), daily. In so doing, we will maintain our gaze upon God, while glancing upon situations.
May our gracious Lord Jesus make these truths a consistent reality, so that we actually live what we believe.