2003-09-25 - The Lower Lights
Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave!
I live near the port of Philadelphia. From time to time I have a chance to cross one of the major bridges as a ship is coming in to harbor. Some are bigger than others. Some are just huge.
The bay and river are both very wide and there are a number of lighthouses in the area looking out over the ocean. In the not so distant past, these lighthouses were the difference between life and death in a bad storm. These powerful lights were used to let ships know where they were and to mark dangerous areas. They were markers to guide ships into the harbor.
Once in the harbor there are still difficulties. There are sandbars, rocks and shallows to be avoided. There are as many things or more that can damage or sink a ship inside the harbor. Those huge ships sit lower in the water and must be able to find the deepest part of the channel to pass safely to the docks. There are channel markers that sit on either side of the deep channel - red on one side and green on the other. Stay between these markers and you are in the safest place you can be. Drift outside those markers and the ship and the lives aboard are in jeopardy.
The first image is pretty clear. Jesus is the lighthouse calling ships to the harbour from the storms of the oceans of life. He guides ships around dangerous rocks and points to the shelter of the harbour. The second image is not as plain. Believers are the channel markers, also called the lower lights. Jesus has promised to draw all men to Himself. Once someone reaches the harbour and wants to know more about Jesus and the safety of the harbor they are safe from the ocean storms, but there is more to the journey. Those seeking, need direction and answers in the harbour to reach the docks. Jesus continues to be the guide, but the lower lights who have been there before and know the harbour better are there to help as well with the lights of our lives.
Some of us have come to the docks through brutal, raging storms. Others have found there way led through quieter weather, but the path is still the same. The journey goes past the Lighthouse and up the channel hopefully between the lower lights.
Grace & Peace,