Back in the early 70’s the Gospel family group known as the Goodmans sang a Ronnie Hinson song called, “The Lighthouse.” It was one of the first songs I ever sang solo in church and it was the opening for me to become a Praise and Worship leader throughout the 80’s.
*There’s a Lighthouse on the hillside that overlooks life’s sea.
When I’m tossed it sends out a light that I might see.
And the light that shines in the darkness, now will safely lead us o’er.
If it wasn’t for the lighthouse that ship would be no more.
Everybody that lives around me says, tear that lighthouse down,
The big ships don’t sail this way anymore, there’s no use of it standing ’round.
Then my mind goes back to that stormy night, when just in time I saw the light,
Yes, the light from that old lighthouse, that stands up there on the hill.
And I thank God for the Lighthouse, I owe my life to Him,
For Jesus is the Lighthouse, and from the rocks of sin
He has shone a light around me that I can clearly see,
If it wasn’t for the Lighthouse where would this ship be?
*Words and Music by Ronnie Hinson, Copyright © 1971 All Rights Reserved, Used with permission.
A lighthouse is a very important tool for any maritime ship. It acts like a beacon that not only guides, but warns of destructive rocks and shoals that can break a ship completely apart and it is especially important in protecting ships during ocean storms which occur quite often.
Of course, it’s a pretty good analogy of the Salvation and Protection that trusting in Christ Jesus affords, but like so many analogies, it can and does go so much deeper. There isn’t just one lighthouse; yet at some time in history past there was a great one and then other countries could see the benefit and they built their own at strategic points on their shorelines. But, there had to be one as the example, first.
So it is, AND should be, with Jesus as our example of light. We should be individual lighthouses strategically placed by the Holy Spirit upon the storm-tossed seas of life that surround each of us. Our beacon of light should shine out among those that are searching for protection against the rocks and obstacles that lie darkly hidden in life.
But think of this; what good is a lighthouse, if instead of clean, clear glass, it had bricks or block mortared into place to protect that precious light? Who would benefit then from that light? I would suppose that the lighthouse keeper, the servant who kept the light shining, who kept the lighthouse functioning and any who he might have help do the maintenance. But what about those that truly need the benefit of the light? The maritime Captains and their crews would be in desperate need for some sort of marker or beacon to protect them from the destructive forces that constantly present themselves closer to home.
Now, it’s true that sometimes ships still crash upon the rocks close to shore, but in most cases it is due to ignoring or not recognizing the light for the safety and protection it is meant to provide. But now think of the scenario stated above; a lighthouse closed off to the surrounding area. Sadly, we see this today in many places that were either MEANT TO BE lighthouses, or WERE at some time in the past. Their glass windows were and are covered to protect those inside, thus allowing NO light to flow out, their open doors were or are shut against the storms of the outside so that those inside don’t feel the fury of the winds or the pelting of the rain. These former “lighthouses” are insulated against the very storms of life to which they were called to be a beacon for those looking for some sort of safe harbor in which to drop anchor.
Think about this; if you are shining your light and the only others who are witness to this light are others shining their light, who benefits? What purpose and to whom does that light serve?
In this age of electricity and batteries, that light could shine for an undeniably long time. What though, if the “Master Electrician” deems that the light isn’t serving its intended purpose and cuts off the “power” that keeps the light shining? Without the clear and transparent windows installed, those that once shone light would only be sitting in a darkness they themselves created due to their selfish desire to be insulated from the storms surrounding them.
Think of this in the terms of Jesus’ day; the light that was used to illuminate the darkness was either candles or oil lamps. Oil runs out, and candles either run out or need oxygen to keep burning. What happens when you light a couple hundred lamps in a room or several hundred candles and seal that light in? The light dies out from lack of oxygen, from lack of a part of its fuel source. It has to have oxygen constantly being replenished for it to continue to burn.
So it is with the “light of the Lord” that was and is meant to shine from us to a broken and storm-tossed world. I know that we all know these scriptures but they deserve an in-depth look. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. — Matthew 5:14-16
Now sadly many have camped on verse 15 and let their light shine on a lampstand within their “house.” For a while, it is the most well-lit house around, but—Jesus didn’t stop there or start there. If you are on a hill (think lighthouse) and are open like a city, your light cannot be hidden AND so the example isn’t to put it on a light stand for just the house, because you would never hide it (under a basket) but rather use that example to let it shine upon ALL men so they ALL can see the light and the reason that the light was meant to shine out; to glorify our Heavenly Father and help mankind see HIM for Who He is!
To give an example of what I mean; my wife and I have lived in this small Colorado community for going on three years now. I am not tied to any particular denomination although I try to preach and teach the WHOLE Bible, so for clarification call myself a full-gospel fundamental preacher or teacher. So many people want others to be labeled, I don’t look at that as I am persuaded that neither does our Heavenly Father.
In the almost three years (come this July) we have as yet to have one person come to our home and welcome us to the community, from the mainstream churches, that is. We have been visited by some of the young Mormon missionaries checking to see if we had any needs they could help with. We had some good conversations about the Lord and the heart of men, but sadly, they were the only ones to welcome us here.
Where is the LIGHT that shines within the hearts of God’s children? Where is it shining in just this small community? I do know where I can go to find it, but what of those that can’t, those that are homebound or those searching for answers and don’t know where to look?
Sadly, the light that was meant to be seen from atop a hill, was relegated to a box, a big box for sure, but a closed box, nonetheless! Is your light being hidden??