Perth, Western Australia became known worldwide as the “City of Lights” U.S astronaut John Glenn told the world he had seen the city’s lights during his historic orbit around the earth on February 20th, 1962. To acknowledge the historic mission of the first American orbiting the globe, the citizens of Perth turned on their lights for Glenn to see all the way from space. In commemoration of that important event in history, Glenn made the same trip 36 years later and once again the people of Perth responded. Commenting on the action, the late astronaut said, “This time I could see the ground again, and it looked to me as though the lights of Perth and Rockingham were even more vivid than they had been back 36 years before in 1962, so it was a great view and once again we were happy to be able to say hello to the people of Perth on that dark side of the earth as I was going around” (watoday.com.au). No doubt the city had grown with more lights to shine, and the people wanted them to be seen.
\During His Sermon on the Mount Jesus said that as Christians we are “the light of the world,” a proverbial “city” set on a hill which “cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14). Notice that He didn’t say we are to “be a” light, but that we “are the” light of the world. Just as the lights of Perth shone in the darkness, we as Christians are the light in a dark world. Our Lord would go on to command us to “Shine” our light in such a way that brings glory to God through our good works (5:16). Perth was brighter the second time because of the growth of the city. Likewise, as we grow as individual Christians, and as the church grows, the light of Christ should continue to shine brighter and brighter in us.
In order for others to see God’s light we have to shine it. By helping those in need, by loving others, by applying the principles in the “beatitudes,” we provide the opportunity for those in the dark world to say “hello” to the Lord. Let us always be striving for our Christian light to become more and more vivid every day. May the church of Christ forever be the light in a world of darkness.