Scripture: Matthew 6:22 CEB
“The eye is the lamp of the body. Therefore, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.”
The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse in Palm Beach County, Florida is one of the iconic lighthouses in Florida. It was built over a five-year period from 1855 to 1860 at a cost of over $60,000. It was designed to warn ships about the offshore coral reef and the dangers it presented. The Lighthouse was first lit on July 10, 1860. The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse is 108 feet tall but towers 156 feet over the water due to a 48-foot natural sand dune upon which it sits. The focal plane of the light is 146 feet above the water. The light produced by the Lighthouse can be seen up to 28 miles offshore and 40-50 miles from an airplane. With its distinctive coral colored tower and black light housing it is one of the best-looking lighthouses in the state of Florida.
The purpose of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, and any lighthouse, is to shine light into the darkness. The light it shines into the darkness offers the potential to save lives. If a ship’s captain will heed the warning of the lighthouse and adjust her/his course accordingly, all will go well. Of course, if the warning light is ignored disaster can occur. The light of a lighthouse consists of a bulb, or bulbs, that are reflected by a lens which throws the light great distances. The quality of the lens determines the effectiveness of the light. The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse has what is termed a first order Fresnel lens that was manufactured in Paris. It is reported to be the oldest existing first order Fresnel lens in the state of Florida. The power from the light comes from the electrical plan and then is conducted through the bulb into light and then thrown by the lens as the beacon the ship’s captain sees. The bulb and the lens work together to allow the lighthouse to fulfill the purpose for which it was designed.
In The Gospel of Matthew, Jesus teaches about the power of a different lamp (light). It is not a lighthouse, but the concept is similar. Jesus says that, “The eye is the lamp of the body. Therefore, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” Jesus is teaching his followers from a well-known view in the ancient world. It was commonly believed that a person’s eye allowed the body’s light to be seen by others. We have a similar belief in our time. This is why people might say something like “there is a sparkle in his/her eye.” Usually, this refers to hope or energy that the person has within their personality. Jesus was saying that when your eye is healthy the light of the One who created you, the One who has saved you, and the One who sustains you is shining through your eyes. We become spiritual lighthouses by which the people around us can navigate the darkness. The light doesn’t come from us, we are just the lens through which the light is shared. The light is Jesus.
The decision we must make every morning is if we will be the light. You may remember the children’s song This Little Light of Mine. According to the lyrics we must decide that we are going to let the light of Christ shine through us. We aren’t going to hide the light, we aren't going to let anyone or anything blow it out. We are going to let it shine. We need to have a healthy spiritual life for the light to shine brightly. We need to spend time with God praying, reading Scripture, fasting, journaling, and being quiet. When we do these things, and are in a healthy relationship with God through Jesus Christ, our light will shine. Will you be a lighthouse today?
Prayer: Most Holy and Almighty God, make me your lighthouse today to a darkened world. May I reflect your holiness, your love, your mercy to those who need you most. In the name of Jesus. Amen.