“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden." Matthew 5.14
Lighthouses enjoy almost iconic status around the shores of Britain. We marvel at these majestic and enduring structures, many of which were erected through the engineering genius of celebrated author Robert Louis Stevenson's grandfather, also Robert. On clear nights their light warns approaching vessels of dangerous rocks, while in mist and fog their eery horns serve a similar purpose.
Light dispels darkness and Jesus applies that quality to Christian witness. He is the source and calls all of his followers to reflect his light in order to illuminate, guide and warn everyone on our navigation through life. Sometimes the road ahead is clear, as if bathed in light. At other times it is as if we are relying on the spiritual equivalent of a lighthouse, so fraught and unclear is the way ahead.
Today I look forward to supporting a local initiative which bears the name Lighthouse because of its mission to serve those who are struggling with issues around addiction. Firmly rooted in faith, it is the light of Christ which this Lighthouse reflects and that means it is reliable both in terms of quality and endurance. For, as the apostle John confirms in the opening chapter of his Gospel at verse 5: "the darkness has not overcome it".