«Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘l am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life’ » (John 8:12).
IN THE CITY OF MAZATLAN, Mexico, there is an imposing hill called Isla de Crest6n, where there is a spectacular lighthouse that can be visited to enjoy the views from the top. However, in the nineteenth century, the port of Mazatlan did not have a lighthouse, despite getting a large number of ships from Europe and the Orient every year. For a whole seven years, there was no signaling of any kind to help captains approach the hill without putting their ships in danger. The lack of that necessary light obviously brought on difficulties and generated risks that the present-day lighthouse prevents.
By the year 1828, Isla de Crest6n already had a modest maritime signal system based on torches and bonfires fed by wood and coal, but the light they gave was only seen when people were quite close to the port. It was not until the year 1892 that construction of the current lighthouse began, and in 1930 final changes were made that finally allowed for an electric lighting system that is a real help for ships.
The difference between having a light and not having one is immense, not only at sea, but on land as well. For example, knowing that Jesus is the Light of the world is one thing, but allowing the light that come from His words and reading the account of His passage through this world to guide our lives is another. When Jesus is our Lighthouse, everything changes completely; when the light that comes from Him is our guide in our human relationships, in our relationships with ourselves, and in our relationship with God, our steps toward that final harbor—the new earth—will be firmer and surer, and we will be safer.
The same thing applies to the people who surround us. From the beginning, when God chose a special people for the first time, His intention was that they would serve as a light for the neighboring nations. Israel did not fulfill that call, and those nations were lost in paganism. Today, like the spiritual Israel that we are, we have to be a light for the people who live in darkness.