Anglican Morning Devotion for 14 June 2021 A.D.
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Genesis 1:1-5)
“Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” (Matthew 5:15; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness,” is a popular quote often misapplied to Confucius. There is an explanation for that misunderstanding. The quote comes from a sermon preached in 1907 by William A. Watkinson entitled, The Invincible Strategy. The sermon was published in a China Inland Missions periodical and became popular in China and, as a result, was attributed by them to Confucius.
We find a beautiful illustration of the candle of understanding in the extra-canonical Book of 2 Esdras 14:25 (KJV) – “And come hither, and I shall light a candle of understanding in thine heart, which shall not be put out, till the things be performed which thou shalt begin to write.” This text was likely familiar to Bishop Hugh Latimer who, on October 16, 1555, was tied to the burning stake at Oxford with Bishop Ridley to whom he cried out, as the bundle of sticks caught fire beneath them, “Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.” Latimer became that very human candle that did, indeed, open the eyes of England to the Faith of the Protestant Reformation. So, there are different kinds of candles to shed light on truth and as well as to reveal error.
Light must be lifted on high for maximum advantage; thus, our Lord said: “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” The Light of Truth and love in the Christian cannot be hidden else it is no light at all. It fails to serve its purpose if hidden.
It is amazing that a single candle can disperse an entire room of darkness. Darkness cannot abide light at all because darkness has no value at all – it is simply the absence of light. Light requires fueled energy to generate – darkness requires nothing but light’s absence. Only a small faith is required to dispel much darkness, and a beacon light of faith can illuminate the world. Our bodies would be in absolute darkness were it not for its candle – the eye. (see Matthew 6:22)
Our Lord referred to John the Baptist as a light: “He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.” (John 5:35) He was a reflected Light of the greater Light of God’s Word. But just as John was a “burning and shining light,” so must all who confess the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning.” (Luke 12:35)
Have we hidden the Word in our hearts that we might not sin against God? The Word is the fuel that the Holy spirit burns to provide the light for our souls. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1:19
Without the oil of the Holy Ghost, we stumble in darkness seeking the Bridegroom just as the five virgins who had no oil for their lamps and were rejected from attending the marriage supper. It is love of Christ that compels us to make preparation of the oil of God’s Word. The careless virgins did not do so, but believed sleep and leisure more important than preparation.
There can be no life without light. It is the light of the sun that enables the photosynthesis of plant life and, in extended measure, all animal life. The moon has no light of its own – it only has reflected light – and the only light a Christian has is reflected light of the Sun of Righteousness. The sun is the brightest star in our heaven, though it is not the largest. It is brightest because it is near to us just as the Lord Jesus Christ is near to all of faith. He will neither leave nor forsake us. He is the Bright and Morning Star throughout our dark walk of night on this earth; but, then comes the bright Sun of Righteousness to provide Light for the endless day of Paradise.
Do you have oil for your lamp? Are you providing light for others, or are you as the ‘black holes’ of space – so selfish of light that none escapes your gravitational field so none can see it?
Light your candle and lift it high for all to see! Be that lighthouse beacon that draws the lost ships to harbor, and the harbor lights to prevent grounding on the shoals of the harbor. Christ is your Light and He is the Word you know to be all truth. The only way to know the Way, the Truth, and the Life is to STUDY it more than one day in seven.
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)