Let the light shine!

Let the light of God shine, don’t cover it up! This is a well-known thought from the Bible. But what exactly is this light? The Chief Apostle gave a fourfold answer in a recent service.

Nearly 92,000 people participated in the divine service that Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider celebrated in Uganda on 24 July. Well over 3,000 were in Kampala and saw and heard the Chief Apostle directly, while the others followed the service on national television. It was also broadcast to Tanzania and Kenya.

The sermon was based on Luke 8: 16: “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light.” This thought appears in the gospel four times, always in a different context, the Chief Apostle said. “That shows how important this statement by Jesus Christ was for the first Christians.”

The light of salvation

“Jesus Christ is the light that God sent to earth.” Through Him people can discover and see God as He is. This is a light that cannot be extinguished, because the victory on the cross is final and eternally valid. In order to make use of this light one has to accept it in faith. “Let us not cover this light with earthly concerns,” the Chief Apostle asked the congregation. “Let us use this light for the purpose it has been given to us: to lead us into the kingdom of God.”

The light of knowledge

“This light is also an image for the word of God, for the teaching of Jesus.” It illuminates the difference between good and bad and between right and wrong. In order to be able to use it for our own salvation we have to accept this light and believe in it: “The teaching of Jesus also applies to our life and our situation today.” We have to make sure that we do not cover this light up. That would mean that we hear the word of God but that our actions do not correspond with it. “Let us use the light to illuminate our hearts and to adjust our conduct accordingly.”

The light of the ministry

“Living Apostles have the commission to bring this light into our midst.” In other words, their task is to proclaim the gospel and prepare people for the return of Christ through word and sacrament. But to be able to partake in this we have to accept Christ’s ambassadors and their teaching—despite all their shortcomings and imperfections. “By not using the Apostle ministry, we are covering it up.”

The light of testimony

“You are the light of the world.” Here Jesus asks us to be His witnesses, to show that His teaching is the truth and to prove that one can do what He asks us to do. We accept this commission no matter what we face in life, even then when we go through tribulations or experience failure.”

The Chief Apostle concluded: “Let us radiate the light of Christ for our own salvation and that of our neighbour.”

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Andreas Rother
Uganda, Chief Apostle, Divine service