19 July 2022 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.” (Phil 2:15; all scripture quoted ifs from the King James Version)
Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; (Luke 12:35)
I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)
On a dark, stormy, night, when the waves rolled like mount¬ains, and not a star was to be seen, a boat, rock¬ing and plung-ing, neared the Cleve¬land har¬bor. “Are you sure this is Cleve¬land?” asked the cap¬tain, see¬ing only one light from the light-house.
“Quite sure, sir,” re¬plied the pi¬lot.
“Where are the low¬er lights?”
“Gone out, sir.”
“Can you make the har¬bor?”
“We must, or per¬ish, sir!”
And with a strong hand and a brave heart, the old pi¬lot turned the wheel. But alas, in the dark¬ness he missed the channel, and with a crash upon the rocks the boat was shiv¬ered, and ma¬ny a life lost in a wat¬ery grave. Breth¬ren, the Mas¬ter will take care of the great light-house: let us keep the low¬er lights burn¬ing!
(D. L. Moody.) Philip P. Bliss, The Charm: A Col¬lect¬ion of Sun¬day School Mu¬sic (Chi¬ca¬go, Il¬li¬nois: Root & Ca¬dy, 1871)
There is much to be said about LIGHT in the Holy Bible; in fact, LIGHT is a burning and profound allusion to the Person of Christ. LIGHT secondarily refers to those who are light-bearers for Christ – it is HIS LIGHT they bear, and His glorious illumination they reflect. “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” (Matthew 5:14) We often speak of the Hidden Manna of God’s Word, but it is easily found if we will remove the shrouds of doubt and deceit that cover it. God’s Word is LIGHT and, once uncovered, comes penetrating through the darkness of ignorance and misunderstanding like a flash of morning sunlight.
It is quite obvious to the Christian professor of that which is exemplified by the great Lighthouse of the Harbor – it is the LIGHT of God sweeping the tumultuous waves and billows of the sea as a boon to lost seaman. But what of the Lower Lights? Those Lower Lights are you and me who receive our oil from the Holy Ghost to light the small channels of the harbor once the Lighthouse has wooed the ships of sea near to entry.
As that old, lovely hymn declares: Brightly beams our Father’s mercy, From His lighthouse evermore, But to us He gives the keeping Of the lights along the shore. There is no light comparable to that of God. As a matter of fact, there is no LIGHT apart from God. We are the keepers of the Lower Lights along the shoreline.
When visiting our churches in Haiti a few years back, I noticed the Port au Prince Lighthouse standing erect near the head of the harbor of the city. It was starkly visible both during the hours of darkness as well as daylight; however, at night, there were lesser lights to be seen all along the harbor channel. These were the Lower Lights intended to guide the big sea vessels to safe anchorage in the harbor once that had been brought near by the Lighthouse Light.
The darkness of sin is stifling to the soul’s eye. “Dark the night of sin has settled, Loud the angry billows roar; Eager eyes are watching, longing, For the lights along the shore.” The Sun settled on this old world at the Fall of Adam in the Garden at Eden, but we have the promised and constant Light of Christ to light our paths throughout the long, dark night of our souls on this orb. He is our Bright and Morning Star from evening to Sunrise through our hours of darkness. He is our Day Star at dawn, and always the brightest Light in the Heavens. As the storms of life and the billows of sin build and crash, we are made to feel secure by the prospect of that unquenchable Light of Christ above us and in our hearts.