Lighthouses and Mirrors
By Dr. Carol J Miller
See a picture of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse
See a picture of lighthouse lens
How many of you have seen a lighthouse? [Ask for show of hands]. Where was it? Was it in the middle of a forest? Was it in the middle of a city surrounded by big buildings? No? Where can you find lighthouses? [Listen to all answers]. At the beach, of course. Which of you knows what a lighthouse it for?
A lighthouse shows the captain of the ship where he is. In the dark out in the ocean, even if you are close to land, it’s hard to see where you are. The lighthouse shows you. And if there are dangerous rocks in the water, a lighthouse is put up so the boat doesn’t run into the rocks. Here is a picture of a lighthouse [show picture]. They are tall usually, so they can be seen out at sea.
Now lighthouses have a big problem. Even though the light bulb in the top of the lighthouse can be very, very big—I mean huge—I (make a big circle with your arms) it cannot throw its light far enough or bright enough for ships farther out in the ocean to see.
Now I will show you a picture of how people fixed that problem. [Show one or more pictures of lighthouse lenses]. Can you tell from this picture what they did? They surrounded the big light bulb with lots and lots of little mirrors. Each mirror reflects the light from the bulb and shines it on another mirror and that mirror shines the light on another mirror until there are lots and lots of lights, making the bulb’s light stronger and brighter.
Jesus said to his disciples, and to us that WE are light for the world. Many people don’t know what to do in life. They don’t know why they live. They don’t know which way to go. Jesus shows us how to live for God and neighbor. Jesus’ love is like a light that shows people what they need to know. But Jesus said WE are light for the world! But nobody knows us; we’re not famous. We aren’t big light bulbs. What can we be?
What else was around that big bulb? That’s right—mirrors. Just little mirrors but together they made the bulb’s light stronger. When we are kind, when we are helpful, when we show respect to others, we are taking Jesus’ light and showing it to others. We help make God’s light stronger, so all the world can see it. That’s a pretty good job!
Copyright 2014, Richard Niell Donovan