JUSTIN, Tex. (BNC) by Joe Slater — Monday, August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will be visible in certain portions of the world, including a 70-mile-wide swath of the United States from Oregon to South Carolina. Partial eclipses are fairly common, but total eclipses occur only every 18 months or so, and are often visible only in remote areas of the globe.

Ordinarily, the moon reflects the light of the sun onto the earth. During an eclipse, however, the moon actually blocks the sun’s light. A total eclipse blocks all of the sun’s light for around two minutes.

Spiritually speaking, Jesus is “the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12). And yet the Lord told His disciples, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14a).

So, which is it: Is Jesus the light of the world, or are His disciples the light of the world? The answer, of course, is “yes!”

As the sun is the source of the literal light that illuminates our planet, so Jesus is the source of spiritual light. And as the moon reflects the sun’s light, so we are to reflect the light of Christ. Our good works do not originate light, but they do reflect the light of Jesus.

Similarly, our proclamation of Christ’s gospel is like the shining of a glorious light (see 2 Corinthians 4:4).

We certainly did not originate the gospel, but it is our privilege to make it known.

The Lord said a city located on a hill cannot be hidden, and people don’t light a lamp only to put it under a basket where nobody benefits from its light (Matthew 5:14b, 15).

Unfortunately, we sometimes hide the lamp, or locate our city down in a valley. By our sin and our silence, we may even block the light that we ought to be shining – a spiritual eclipse, so to speak.

Christ’s light is still there, even as the sun is still burning during an eclipse – but nobody can see it.

Be a lamp, not an eclipse!

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16, NKJV).

Joe Slater is an evangelist with the congregation in Justin, Texas.