“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16)
In the year 2012 we recently witnessed a global sports event that takes place every four years – The Olympic Games! The Olympic flame is a symbol of the Olympic Games. Its origins lie in ancient Greece, where a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics. As per the custom, the Olympic torch is lit in Greece and then relayed by “Torchbearers” to the various designated sites of the games. These torchbearers are usually famous people or celebrities whom the country is proud to show off. In this 2012 olympics, Amitabh Bachchan was the first Indian film celebrity to be one of the Olympic Torchbearers. Torchbearers are people that others would want to emulate, they are role models. It is a great honour to be chosen to carry the Olympic Torch.
As Christians, we are called to be Torchbearers for Christ! A torchbearer is a person who leads the way with the light that he carries. Jesus is the light of the world and since He dwells in us, we are to carry Him wherever we go. We are to let Him shine so that those who do not know Him may come to know Him. The Bible says “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). “That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil 2:15).
After the resurrection, Jesus met with the eleven disciples and said to them “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). This great commission was not only for the disciples but for all of us who would confess Jesus as Lord and Saviour. We have a mandate to go and preach the Gospel, of Jesus Christ to every nation of the world. We should be proud carriers of the torch and like Paul we should be quick to declare “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
During the Olympic Games, we make time to attend or watch the games on TV. As Christian torchbearers, we need to make evangelization a part of our lives, because we are also called to pass on the torch. It is imperative that we Christians pass on the torch from generation to generation. It is the duty of parents, Christian teachers, priests, bishops, prayer group members, missionaries and all who call themselves Christians to ensure that the torch is passed on. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Just as the Olympic flame is lit so that everyone can see it, so should it be with us. The Bible says “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid” (Matthew 5:14). People ought to look at our life and desire what we have. Christians ought to set the pace for others to follow. A point to note: If the world you live in has accepted and embraced you, it is because your light has gone out. If they hate and reject you for The Truth that you stand for, then, though painful, it means that your light is shining for “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Pet 4:14).
Application: The road that leads to eternal life is narrow and hard and few are those who tread upon it (Mt 7:14). Yes beloved, if we have compromised our Christian walk, and doused the flame of Christ within, living a miserable life as a result, do not be dismayed? For He promises: “a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench” (Isa 42:3). Simple repentance and turning to HIM alone in faith, will ensure that your flame is re-kindled and burns brightly again. Your flame may be dim, but it will never be quenched, this is His promise. Return to Him and re-kindle the flame of the Gospel and watch how God will make you His firebrand on this planet.