The Centennial Light, pictured above, is famous for being the longest-lasting light bulb in the world. It lives at 4550 East Avenue, Livermore, California and, with the exception of a few relocations, power cuts and electrical faults, it has been burning for around 117 years!
Light is an amazing aspect of life on earth and we interact with it in so many ways.
Light brings clarity in a physical sense and hope in an emotional sense.
We have the beautiful Northern Lights over the Arctic Circle.
Light takes eight minutes and 20 seconds to travel from the sun to planet earth.
And we use lights everyday of our lives from the lights in and on our cars, to those in our living spaces, through to our bedside lamps.
In Matthew 6:22-23 the Bible describes the eye as the lamp of the body:
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness.”
This verse is interesting because it seems to suggest that for our lives to be filled with light we have to ensure we have healthy eyes.
The opposite is also implied then; if we have unhealthy eyes our lives will be full of darkness.
So what does that even mean? Let’s dig a little deeper.
The Greek word used for ‘healthy’ here actually means ‘generous’.
So let’s rewrite that sentence with this new understanding: If your eyes are GENEROUS, your whole body will be full of light. And we also know that the opposite is true because the Greek word for ‘unhealthy’ actually means ‘stingy’.
What Jesus is actually talking about here is a Jewish idea called “good eye” vs. “evil eye”. The “good eye” – the way someone views the world around them – means goodwill, benevolence and being genuinely happy when others prosper. The evil eye is quite the opposite!
So, actually, we all have a choice to make about how we view the world: either through generous eyes or through stingy eyes.
The Bible is clear: stingy eyes will only fill our lives with darkness and negativity.
The opposite is true of those with generous eyes: the “good eye” will cause our lives to be full of goodwill, happiness and positivity.
Will our lives continually shine light like the Centennial Light for a sustained period of time, projecting goodness and generosity to the world around us?
Let’s hope so and let’s endeavour to do so!