Jesus says to us, "Take the love that I have put into your hearts, take the fire of God’s love, and let it shine so the people of this world can see it too.” Don’t hold back! Don’t close the doors to your heart! Don’t shut it in! Let it out in this world.

Jesus' disciples did that. They saw Jesus live and die for them. They saw his faithful preaching. The watched him ascend into heaven. And they felt the fire of the Holy Spirit touch them on the great day of Pentecost. And they went out and did works which were good. They went out and the lit up peoples’ lives with God’s love. They found people walking around in the darkness of unbelief, and they gave them a message of hope, peace and love that changed them forever. They lit up this world.

Do you think Jesus wants you to do the same thing? Of course he does! We are the ones Jesus has charged to light up this world.

That sounds like a big responsibility? You up to it? It’s hard to say, don’t you think? We might be fired up for ourselves, but are we fired up enough to share it with others? Are we ready? Because this world is ready. This world is in darkness and you know it. You see the hurt, the disappointment, the anger, the evil that is out there. You know it because that same darkness of sin is still a part of us. And we feel its deadly pull and we know that too often in our lives we give in to that darkness. And what happens if the light of faith goes out?

We must remember that the light gives life. Just like the Sun gives us life on this earth, Jesus the "Son," has lit up your world with life. It’s a light that first poured into you through Holy Baptism when that water of life washed away your sins. It’s that light that continued to come to from friends and adults who taught you God's word. It’s that light that comes from the love of God, placed into your heart through the work of Jesus Christ.

When Jesus died on the cross, why did the world go dark? God was certainly drawing our attention to something important. But I think it’s more profound than that. I think the world went dark because God was gathering up all the darkness, all the wickedness of every sin that had ever been committed and ever would be committed—every sin of yours and mine—God was gathering all that up and dumping it on top of Jesus. And that darkness pressed down upon him and God turned his back on him and condemned him to hell. And that darkness of sin was punished once and for all time, never to return again. The darkness has no power over you because it was punished in Jesus Christ.

And then, when Jesus rose from the dead, he brought with him the light that is life. He brought to you and me the eternal light of God’s love. The punishment for sin is over.

Now is the time of the light. Now is the time to chase darkness away. Now is the time to embrace that light and light up this world.