Ah yes, Daylight Savings Time has come upon us once again and clocks around the United States have been reset. It's a chance to have more light that we can use - a chance to get more done! So let's think about light for a minute. Bright light. Daily Light. The Light of the World.
...so when Simeon saw the baby, with the light of heaven shining from his infant face, he knew He was the Messiah. He gently took the baby from Mary’s arms, held Him up and praised God, saying "O Lord, you have kept your word to me. You have let me see the instrument of your salvation which you are sending to us to save all people. He will be a saving light to the world and an honor to Israel." (Luke 2:28-32 TCW)
Simeon knew that this was the promised one, and his old heart must have burst with love for this child, the Child that the world had waited for so long. Can you hear him whispering, "Jesus, my Messiah and my Savior, thank you for coming after so many years. Jesus, I love you..." Simeon’s faith was not misguided, for as Jesus grew into manhood, the light of His shining face and spotless life brightened the life of everyone He met.
But let me jump forward for just a minute. During the early 1900s, a young, talented actress was walking along the street of a large city. Seeing a pale, sick girl lying on a couch just within the half-open door of a beautiful home, she knocked and entered, thinking that with some enjoyable conversation she might cheer up the young lady. Hmm, society has changed a bit since then. How many of us would walk down the street of a busy city today, let alone just enter a stranger’s house! Anyway, the sick girl was a strong Christian, and HER words, HER patience, and HER submission to God’s will so displayed the light of her religion that the actress was deeply touched. Afterwards she put much thought into where her life was leading, and was thoroughly converted. She told her father, the leader of the theater company, of her conversion, and that she wanted to give up acting, stating that she did not believe she could live a consistent Christian life and still be an actress.
Her father was astonished, and told his daughter that their living would be lost and their business ruined if she persisted in this crazy idea. Loving her father very much, she was shaken in her purpose to quit, and agreed to appear during their next public tour in a few days. She was the star of the small company, and a favorite with the public, so every preparation was made for the play. The evening of the performance came and her father was relieved that their living was not lost after all. At last the curtain rose, and the young actress stepped forward firmly to the applause of the large crowd. But an unexpected light beamed from her beautiful face. Amid the breathless silence of the audience, she repeated:
My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
And that was all. Through Christ she had conquered and leaving the audience in tears, she left the stage, never to appear there again. Through her influence her father was also converted, and by their united evangelistic labors in years to come, many were led to God by the light of heaven’s glory.
And in the same way, just as Simeon had foretold, Jesus preached and taught, labored and loved, sharing rays of light and glory with all who would listen. His hearers heard the theme of heavenly sunshine repeated again and again.
I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life...As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world...I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on me should not live in darkness. (John 8:12, 9:4, 12:46 KJV)
And the people flocked to Him, drawn by the light of heaven in His smile, and the holiness of His Father shining from His face. "Truly no man ever did such things as these!" the multitudes marveled. "But everything I do is from my Father," Jesus told them gently. "If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could do the very things I do that so amaze you."
And if nothing else, the Light from Heaven reminds us of the truly amazing things that only Christ can give - the gift of forgiveness and grace. In his book Mere Christianity, CS Lewis says:
We can all understand how a man forgives offences against himself. You tread on my toes and I forgive you, you steal my money and I forgive you. But what should we make of a man, himself unrobbed and untrodden on, who announced that he forgave you for treading on other men's toes and stealing other men's money? [Craziness] is the kindest description we should give of his conduct. Yet this is what Jesus did. He told people that their sins were forgiven, and never waited to consult all the other people whom their sins had undoubtedly injured. He unhesitatingly behaved as if He was the party chiefly concerned, the person chiefly offended in all offences. This makes sense only if He really was the God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin. In the mouth of any speaker who is not God, these words would imply what I can only regard as a silliness and conceit unrivalled by any other character in history.
Yes, only the Author of the Law can provide forgiveness for the breaking OF His law. And only our Savior can provide that wonderful, marvelous and amazing gift of saving grace. A gift that should put a delighted smile of thanks and gratitude on the face of every one of us. Let's not forget that for Jesus, EVERY day is Christian Savings Time! - Dave Fairchild