"Shine, Light, Shine"
October 28, 2012
(Jesus said) "Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16
I was in my early teens when the Minneapolis-based company, Burma-Shave went out of business.
If you're my age or older, you remember the company. Most likely you remember their roadside ads. For the young who are reading this devo, let me explain. Back in the olden days, before Interstates made traveling a blur, the Burma-Shave company would put up, about 100 feet apart, little red signs. There were, almost always, five of those signs. The first four carried a poem; the last had the name of the company. As you drove along, you couldn't resist reading.
* Within this vale / Of toil and sin / Your head grows bald / But not your chin. Burma-Shave.
Some had practical advice:
* Don't lose your head / To gain a minute / You need your head / Your brains are in it. Burma-Shave.
Sometimes they had a warning, like
* Brother speeders / Let's rehearse / All together / Good morning nurse. Burma-Shave.
Sometimes the ads were almost theological:
* Passing cars / When you can't see / May get you a glimpse / Of eternity. Burma-Shave.
* Around the corner / They went whizzin' / The fault was hers / The funeral his'n. Burma-Shave.
Now I share this because those ads from decades ago, put out by an extinct company, are still with me. Good advertisements do that. They stay with you.
This takes me to the point of the devotion.
Every Christian is a walking, talking, breathing witness to the Savior. Some of us are good and powerful ads who make people want to know more about the crucified and ever-living Savior.
But there are others among us whose lives do exactly the opposite. When non-Christians see the way these Christians talk, the way they live, they quickly conclude that Jesus is a sham, and they want nothing to do with the Christ, Christianity, or anything close to our faith.
That's sad. It's sad because Jesus said we were to let our lights shine, so folks may see our motivation and our actions and give glory to the Lord.
This they will do only when we are good, memorable advertisements for the Savior. This they will do if the impression we give begins, continues and finishes under the Holy Spirit's direction.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the church is a wonderful thing, and the pastor says some moving words. Bless them both. But I also pray that You will bless me and my witness. Help me point people to Christ rather than encouraging others to run away from Him. This I ask in my Savior's Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries