[249 words]

July was a favorite time of the year during my youth, because that was when we could shoot fireworks. It was a great experience to go down to the fireworks stand with my dad, look over all the multi-colored packages and imagine what each explosive would do. We usually ended up with a ton of firecrackers and bottle rockets. 

Fireworks are great because you light each fuse with anxious anticipation, knowing you are about to experience the thrill of a satisfying explosion of light and sound. Unless, of course, you light a dud. Then instead of a beautiful starburst and fiery pop, you just get a smoking fizzle, and you drop your shoulders and walk away, hoping for better luck next time. I hated duds!

Sometimes I wonder if Jesus feels the same way about His followers today. In the “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus tells His disciples they are the light of the world that shouldn’t be hidden, a lamp that shouldn’t be covered up (Matthew 5:14-16). Christians are lights that are meant to be seen!

But sometimes, after we have our fuses lit by the gospel, we fizzle. We flash a little, we give off a little smoke, but ultimately do not give off that satisfying explosion of light that is expected of us as Christians. 

With every firework you shoot or see this Independence Day, remember that God wants to see our beautiful Christian lights shining across this world. Don’t be a dud!

Matt Clifton
Judsonia church of Christ
Judsonia, AR

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