Little Light of Mine

We hiked up Arbel and took in the sights. This great mount is located in Israel, lower Galilee, where Jesus spent the majority of his years in ministry. Like many pilgrims before us, we stood on the summit in awe as we looked out across the valley. 

Cool gusts of wind whipped through my hair as I traced the edge of the great sea. I could picture Jesus as He healed every sickness, gathered the 12 men that would change the world, and taught the crowds who followed Him.

The fifth chapter of Matthew describes the day Jesus, after seeing the multitudes, went up on the mountain. His disciples came to Him and He began to teach them. We call it the Sermon on the Mount. This is where He taught us how to pray, cautioned us not to worry, and gave the mandate to love our enemies.

Jesus had just finished reciting The Beatitudes: blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the gentle…

And then He spoke the words that resonated in my heart as I stood on Arbel, looking across the vast valley at a modern-day city on the hillside:

I imagined 2,000 years ago, as the sun dipped below the horizon and darkness crept over the basin, the people of the city on the hill lit their oil lamps…house by house…one by one…a small flickering flame glowing in the night…met by another and yet another…

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?
It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand,
and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:13-16

Can you see the hope from the valley below, all those lights blinking and winking and guiding the way through the night?


Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

In other words, it matters.

  • How I treat my family.
  • How I speak to the checkout clerk at the grocery store.
  • How I respond to the person on social media who doesn’t agree with me.
  • The sites I visit on the computer.

Each thought I allow to take root in my heart…matters.


Let’s continue to take 2021 by storm and, by our example, teach our children the meaning of these dear words:

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

The sun is dipping below the horizon. Darkness is creeping in over the valley and now, more than ever, we are to let our lights shine before family, friends, acquaintances and strangers that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.

Let it shine til Jesus comes… 

Cover photo courtesy of Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

“This Little Light of Mine,” by Harry Dixon Loes, circa 1920

6 thoughts on “Little Light of Mine

  1. Shelley, your words are as beautiful as they are instructive. This post paints a compelling picture of letting our light shine—His light. After reading your words, I’m more determined to let the light of Christ shine from my heart to my grandchildren and all I meet.

    Liked by 1 person

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