A Light Perspective from a Children’s Pastor by Brinda VanLeuven
If you are over 30, okay, maybe 40, you may remember the children’s song, This Little Light of Mine, I’m gonna let it shine…. Go ahead, sing it out!
When I was a child, I sang that song in children’s church. I would sing it loud and clear for all to hear! The beat is fun and easy to learn because there is a lot of repetition involved, which is certainly good for me! Many songs and ideas we learned as a child stick with us and come out at just the right times. I’m sure that song laid dormant for a few years until I had children. I remember my children singing along “This little Light of mine! I’m gonna make it shine!” They would have their pointer finger held high like it was a candle stick and “shine their light bright”.
Fast forward to just a few months ago when my 3-year-old grandson discovered he could sing and wanted Grammy to teach him a song. What song did we pick? You guessed it! This little light of mine! Well, I wish you could hear him sing it, because he sings it with such enthusiasm and determination that everyone should hear him sing about his light! We found a YouTube rendition of the song being sung by puppets. Now, puppets may be scary to you, but not my grandson. He would watch this video several times to get the beat down just right! Man, those puppets can dance! After a few times of practicing he could sing the song with confidence, assurance and determination to proclaim his light wouldn’t go out!
The next verse says, hide it under a bushel, NO! I’m gonna make it shine. Now, again if you are over 40 you know what a bushel is. Is it a bush or a bushel basket for fruit or what? So, I cleverly changed it to hide it under a pillow, NO. I’m gonna make it shine, because he can relate to that soft squishy thing, he lays his head on to take a nap. We get a giggle from him each time singing it that way. The point is, we don’t want to put it under anything that would make our light go out.
The next line says, “Won’t let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna make it shine”. Now, my grandson has a ton of questions all the time and not that he shouldn’t know about Satan, but I don’t want to scare him away from singing such a positive song at the age of three, so for this verse we sang, “Won’t let anyone blow it out, I’m gonna make it shine”. Let’s face it, if someone wants to blow out your light, they are ultimately being used by Satan, so we’ll just leave it at that. The last line of this upbeat version says, “Let it shine till Jesus comes, I’m gonna make it shine!” Yes, that tells us one simple fact. We are to keep letting our light shine! Don’t give in. Don’t give up. Don’t let that light go out until the True Light of the World comes to our rescue once again!
Genesis 1:3 is the very first sign of light coming into the darkness. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Verse 4 goes on to say, God saw that the light was good! The light was good. Say it again, the light was good! God went on to create many other essential elements to make a world beyond beautiful! When we get to the 6th day He [God] creates man and woman. What did God say when he was done? It was very good! Say it again; It was very good! It was His pleasure to create us! We are His masterpieces. His desire is for good to rule over evil. Unfortunately, things go south pretty quickly once the snake [Satan]enters the scene. What could have been an amazing place to raise their children and live happily ever after was spoiled by darkness. The first man and woman let Satan blow out their light! Sad, right? But let’s not stop there! Living in darkness is not Gods plan!
Fast forward an average of 5,000 years when God makes the decision to not hide His Light under a pillow or bushel or anything else! He brings transformation into the darkness of the world in the form of a little baby named Jesus! (scripture found in Matthew and Luke) This is such a gift of Love to everyone, for this Jesus will teach us how to let our light shine in the darkness. He was sent to revive the world! He would grow up and take on the craziness going on in his world, his community and surrounding areas. Jesus would teach how He is the Light of the world! [John 8:12] The words of Jesus clearly state “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” I can just hear Jesus as I’m writing this, proclaiming with such enthusiasm, determination, and assurance! Just like my grandson singing his song for all the world to hear, so is Jesus desiring us to hear and accept into our minds and hearts that He is that Light!
We do live in a crazy world, right? Especially as of late. Maybe you would like a 2020 do over. Maybe you don’t have much of a song in your heart to sing these days, or for quite some time now. Maybe you are wondering what the use is. You’re thinking, “I’m just going to wait for better days,” not really knowing how you will manage to do that. Maybe depression, anxiety, worry, impatience, negativity, sadness, or nitpicking as creeped into your mind or heart. Maybe you are downright angry at the world situation or hitting even closer to home, could there be something in your family that keeps you from letting your light shine? I’ve been there before, so worn and tired of darkness, I felt my light would go out at any time.
Two chapters over in John 10:10 our friend, Jesus, says this, the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full. How can we fight this thief? This enemy of our souls? The phrase in the song says, I won’t let anyone blow it out! Or, we could sing, I won’t let depression blow it out! Or I won’t let negativity blow it out! How about I won’t let anger blow it out! I won’t let family struggles blow it out! The point is, we won’t let Satan blow it out! God says it this way in Ephesians 4:31-32: “Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil. Instead, be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ. When you live this way, you will certainly light up the world! Or, your state, community, and family!
The song doesn’t end there, however. The last line sings like this, let it shine till Jesus comes, I’m gonna let it shine! The truth is, God put us here and allows us to live in this darkness for a reason. We wait with anticipation for the return of Jesus to get us out of this mess, but while we are waiting Jesus reminds us, encourages us and commissions us to Go into all the world and preach the gospel. Go on the roads and in the country, the city, the towns, the families, the children, so His house will be full, so His Kingdom will be full! [Luke 14:23 & Mark16:15] God’s word is full of scripture on this subject alone! The point here is to recognize if your light has been growing dim or maybe it’s been lying dormant for years or maybe it was never lit at all. If so, now is a great time to get that flame burning bright and clear even in the midst of darkness and chaos, because Jesus also said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me all of you who are weary and tired and worn out and I will give you rest.” He wants to rekindle that flame. He is such a good good friend and most of all He is our personal Savior! Our job is to come to Him.
We all know it’s not truly completely dark if there is even on little bit of light shining. At this moment I encourage you to ask Jesus, our Friend and Savior, to send revival on that little tiny light today! Ask Him. Call on Him and He will answer you! [Psalm 91] Remember this. Your light is an important part in our dark world. It’s a gift of God. The more light that shines, the brighter things become! The second book of Timothy says it like this in the first chapter. For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you. (vs.6) Give it a try!
My grandson is learning what the light of Jesus is as he goes out on the deck in the darkness with his light up sandals and shouts in his neighborhood, “Look mom, my shoes light up in the night, just like Jesus!” I pray we all come to Jesus like a little child, humble and full of excitement to shine our lights in a dark world until there is no more darkness left! [Matthew 18:3].
Note: If you really want to jam with some puppets, click here!