An Everlasting Light – Theology Essay
It’s a breathtaking experience when over 40 hot-air balloons light up the night sky in an evening balloon glow at the annual Centralia Balloon Fest. Vast crowds of people watch spellbound at the awesome sight. Joyful smiles spread across the faces of children and adults alike. I never tire of watching the glowing tear drop shaped balloons lighting up the darkness.
Mankind was not made for darkness but for light. Why? Because “God is light.” This summer while visiting Florida, my wife and I enjoyed visiting a Thomas Kinkade Art Gallery. Thomas Kinkade has been called “The Painter of Light”. Just as I love to watch a colorful hot-air balloon chasing the horizon, I am also drawn to the luminous light of Kinkade’s paintings. Whether it’s lighthouses of the east coast, a beautiful countryside, grand buildings of a city, majestic churches, bridges, or light washed seascapes, the light always seems to shine out. Thomas Kinkade believes that art has the power to touch people’s hearts and change their lives. Kinkade attributes the hallmark glow of his paintings to his deep Christian faith and his relationship with the Light of the World – Jesus Christ. It is the foundation of all of his work. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).
You were created to light up the darkness around you. I love to be outside at night and gaze up at all of the twinkling points of light piercing through the dark sky. Just think about the thousands of miles the light has traveled. When I was a child, we would shine a flashlight and aim it at one star. A friend told me that even after you turned the flashlight off the light would keep going – on and on, mile after mile, year after year until it eventually reached the star. Perhaps that concept is not scientifically accurate. But that image is still in my mind. It speaks of man’s deep desire to lead a life that matters over the course of our life – one that will make a difference even after we are gone. How can we let our lights shine up and beyond the stars? We can live our lives with eternity in view. We can leave a heritage by the life we live and the lives we touch in some way.
There is a light that never dims and never dies. It’s the Everlasting Light. Isaiah prophesied of that light. “No longer will you need the sun or moon to give you light, for the Lord will be your everlasting light and he will be your glory. The sun will never set; the moon will not go down. For the Lord will be your everlasting light. Your days of mourning will come to an end. All your people will be righteous” (Isaiah 60:19 NLT). That prophecy not only points to the Everlasting Light that will come to the nation of Israel in the person of the Messiah, but it points to the one announced by John the Baptist, who is the true light, who shone in the darkness, to give light to everyone. (See John 1:1-17.) Let Him shine on you!
When I was a little boy, I was afraid of the dark. At that time, we had a coal-burning stove to heat the house. My dad would often send me out into the night, down the long, dark path to load up the old coal bucket. The dark shadows terrified me. But if I was given a flashlight, I wasn’t nearly as afraid. Better yet, if my dad went with me, I was even braver. God later revealed that I could have an everlasting light who would always be with me and in me. As a small shepherd boy, David experienced that light and wrote and sung this Psalm, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear; the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid” (Psalm 27). When you allow the Lord to be your light and salvation, you do not need to be afraid – not even of death.
When Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into a dark dungeon, they let their light shine and began singing praises to God at midnight. God sent an earthquake and caused all the prisoner’s chains to fall off and the prison doors to swing open. The jailer was terrified and was about to take his own life. Paul called out to him. The jailer called for a light and cried, “’Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved along with your entire household’” (Acts 16:16-34). Believing on Jesus Christ who died on the cross for his sins and arose victorious over death brought light and life eternal to the jailer and his entire family. What a spiritual legacy he left to shine on forever.
Does the Everlasting Light, light up your life? He will if you believe and receive Jesus into your heart today. He’ll be a Light Everlasting shining through the darkness.