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As I was mowing my backyard in the late afternoon one day last week, I was startled by movement that I detected out of my peripheral vision to the right.  I kept pushing the mower and turned my head fully in that direction, but no longer saw anything.  On the return trip across the yard, I noticed the same thing at exactly the same spot, but this time to my left.   I stopped, backed up a few steps, and discovered that a faint shadow of my body appeared if I stood within the confines of a very small space.

You may be thinking, “Tim, are you saying that you were unaware of the phenomenon of shadows?  They’ve been around for quite a while, you know!”  No, smarty pants, I’m quite familiar with shadows; just not those that are cast toward the west in the late afternoon.  That’s right!  My shadow was being cast toward the setting sun!

A brief investigation of my surroundings revealed that, although a dark, distinct shadow of my body was being cast toward the east by the afternoon sun, a lighter, lesser shadow was being cast toward the west by the sun’s reflection in an upstairs window on the back of the house.  Mystery solved!

The dueling shadows (one greater, one lesser) were created by two lights (one greater, one lesser).  In actuality, the sun was the only true source of light; the cause of my westward-leaning shadow was a mere reflection of the sun.

In the same way, Jesus is the only true light of the world (John 1:4-9; 8:12; 9:5).  He is the only One who has the power to deliver us from spiritual darkness.  Yet, as His disciples, we are called to reflect His divine light.  In that sense, Jesus could say that we are the light of the world and are to let our light shine in such a way that people are drawn to glorify our heavenly Father (Matthew 5:14-16).

Even though John the Baptist was not “the Light” (John 1:6-8), he was still “a light” through his testimony about Jesus.   Jesus said of John, “He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light,” (John 5:35).

Are we reflecting enough of the Light of the World to make a difference?  Are we walking as children of light (Ephesians 4:8-15) in a way that will catch someone’s attention and direct their curiosity toward the Son?

Are we casting any shadows?

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March 2023