Shine your light where it does most good

By DARRYL WOOD / Community Columnist

The Olympic flame burned brightly in London in 2012. But not many people saw it live.

Only ticketholders to the opening and closing ceremonies and track and field events viewed the flame up close and personal. Everyone else saw it via television.

Usually Olympic organizers design the flame to sit high above the stadium for people throughout the host city to see. It’s a symbol that calls attention to the big event for residents and visitors alike. Typically, the flame is the most photographed backdrop in tourist pictures at an Olympics.

But not in 2012.

The flame’s designer offered some lame excuse for this faux pas. Not many people bought it. So the Games went on without the flame being visible to most participants or fans.

Jesus reminded people that a light’s purpose is to serve those around it. He stated that no one would “light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” (Matt. 5:14) If you’re going to have a light, put it where it does the most good.

The Great Teacher compared believers to a household lamp. His entry into your life empowers you to be a light in a dark world. How? Christian lamps encourage the desolate, feed the hungry, befriend the lonely and remind others of their light’s Source.

It’s a pain to hold that light up day after day. You find it much easier to set that lamp aside because when the light reveals darkness God expects you to address it. What a shame, however, when the masses miss out on the joy of the Christ-life because you put your light in the wrong place.


The Rev. Dr. Darryl Wood is pastor of First Baptist Church Vincent. You may reach him at