This is a lamp that is in my house, I made it from a lamp kit from Lowes and a clarinet someone gave me. The base is a table top microphone stand. I glued all of the pieces together and had a tube cut in the middle that was threaded and ran the cord for the lamp through this. Now this lamp is not only cool to look at, add to any room and start many conversations, it is also a functional lamp.
It gives light to the room, in fact it is getting close to the time I will need to turn it on as it is in the room I am typing this blog, and the sun is going down. While I prefer God’s light, when the sun goes down, the buildings around block out God’s night time lights…
But I digress, what is a lamp for?
Merriam-Webster online defines lamp as
Interestingly the site says that the first known use of lamp is the 13th Century. Of course Jesus spoke in Aramaic so that is fine but this word was not the original…
But a lamp is for light or heat. It can be a vessel for burning oil with a wick, or a bulb as an incandescent, or a new halogen bulb. It is a celestial body or a source of intellectual or spiritual illumination. It is a way to bring light into a dark place. Or it is a bringing of things that we want to not be known to a place where they are known. That is what Jesus speaks of today in Mark 4:21-25.
A lamp is not brought into a room to be put under a bushel basket. For those of us in the 21st Century this is a funny thing, because a lamp will still usually show under a bushel basket, because our electric lamps are taller than a bushel basket, so this would just be an annoyance, and I think that is what Jesus is really getting at. But you see in Jesus day putting a lamp under a bushel basket would not only not allow the lamp to light the room, it could really cause the lamp to light the room by setting everything on fire. But the annoyance of a bushel basket hanging on a lamp (I wish I had a bushel basket to put over the clarinet lamp and take a picture!) is what the things we are trying to hide coming to light would be for us. They would embarrass us if people knew what we were hiding. We would not be able to go the same places or do the same things, as our world would be turned upside down. Or would it be better? Have you ever had a secret you kept from people because you were afraid of the reaction you would get for this secret? You hid your life from everyone and tried to act and be a person you were not, because you thought that is what everyone wanted, but once it was out you were able to really live as who you were created to be with out the hindrance of the secret weighing you down. Well Jesus says that one day everything will be brought to light, even the things we do not want to be known. Everything will be known even our deepest darkest secrets.
So instead of trying to keep the lamp from showing our secrets, and pushing the lamp towards others as we point out all of the things they are doing wrong, maybe we should just let our sins come to light and allow everyone to know that we are hurting and not perfect. Instead of trying to bring others down so we feel better, why not bring our own trash and crap to light to show the world that we are hurt and scared, but Jesus still loves us and uses us to reach the world?
Which gives a better witness, pointing out our neighbors sin and showing how much better we are, or showing we are damaged but Jesus loves us anyhow?
Use the lamp you’ve been given to shine a light that will help others see His light!