JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (BNC) by Timothy Hall — Another Guinness World Record was set this past Tuesday. It happened on the banks of the River Sarayu in India during the national festival of Diwali. Diwali is a major festival in India, sometimes called “The Festival Of Lights”. It appears to refer to different events for different people, but one site says it compares in importance to the celebration of Christmas. It is celebrated by the major religious groups in India, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism.
In 2017 about 175,000 clay lamps were lined up on the river bank and lit simultaneously. This year that number surpassed 300,000, and a representative from Guinness World Records was on hand to confirm that these burned in unison for at least five minutes. (To see this impressive sight, click here.)
With all due respect, I can point to something far more impressive. The lights I have in mind don’t go out in five minutes or even five hours. In some cases the light from these “lamps” continues to glow for fifty, sixty, or even more years!
These lights are those who follow Jesus Christ. He gave His charge to future disciples in the Sermon on the Mount: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. … Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14,16). Every Christian, therefore, who takes their calling seriously will strive to be a light to the world.
This is a figure of speech but it has real results. Paul wrote about this in Philippians 2:14,15:
“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”
People who don’t complain or argue? Now that’s a refreshing change from the norm! It’s “light” that the world is generally glad to see. There are many ways we are like light in the darkness.
The lamps on the banks of the River Sarayu were lit by a multitude of human hands. Not so with Christians; the source of their light is divine: “That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world” (John 1:9). John was referring to Jesus, making the point that our ability to brighten the world comes from above.
I don’t know the number of Christians in the world at this moment; God knows (2 Timothy 2:19). I feel safe in saying, however, that the number far exceeds the new record for clay lamps burning at once.
Do our lights make a difference? They point to the good news of Colossians 1:13: “He has delivered us from the power of darkness …” May we always let our lights shine!
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
Tim works with the Central congregation in Johnson City. He writes the weekly LightGrams, from which this article was taken.
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He sometimes writes “7 Points.” http://randal.us