Sunday, July 17, 2011


My uncle Joe was an accomplished painter. His specialty was portraits and his work was so lifelike, so much so that a woman in one of his paintings used to frighten me as a child. (That same painting now hangs in our living room. Here is the painting).

When he passed several years ago, I was blessed by my aunt who gave me most of his paintings. Because most of his work was from the 1940s and 50s, some of the original frames needed to be replaced and some minor work needed to be done.

I took them to a local frame shop, and on one occasion the owner of the store happened to be there to view the paintings. He commented that my uncle's work was museum quality, but because he was unknown and probably lacked sufficient funds, a museum would have rejected his work.

Out of all the paintings that I have (mostly my uncle's) if it came down to keeping only one, I would choose the one depicting Annisquam(Massachusetts) Lighthouse that my wife Judy painted for me at the time we got engaged. (Here's Judy's painting).
There are two reasons for this. One, of course, is that my wife painted it for me, and two, because it portrays a lighthouse. Living in New England (God's country, :) ), just north of Boston on the coast is so much of a blessing. There are approximately 50 lighthouses in all of the 6 New England states. There is great beauty in these structures that jut up from the water with elegance and grace.

In addition to their sheer beauty, there is also a deeper significance to the lighthouse.

Lighthouses guided ships into the harbor during the night, and were particularly important when the weather was stormy or foggy. Many ships have gone down in the North Atlantic, but many were saved thanks to the light that shined in the darkness.

In the natural order of things, darkness turns into light, but in our world the darkness seems to be getting darker everyday. It seems that everyday, something takes place in our nation and the world which is an abomination in the eyes of a holy God. The words of the prophet Isaiah ring true, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.” (5:20)

John 3:19 This is how the judgment works: the light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil.20 Those who do evil things hate the light and will not come to the light, because they do not want their evil deeds to be shown up. 21 But those who do what is true come to the light in order that the light may show that what they did was in obedience to God.

The only way for the darkness to turn into light is acknowledging our sins, repenting of them, and allow the light of the world—Jesus—to shine brightly. “Jesus spoke to the Pharisees again. I am the light of the world he said. Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness.” (John 8:12)

Before our Lord ascended into heaven, he commissioned his people to proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth. This is a great privilege and responsibility; one that we should not take lightly.

When we view the moon we are seeing light that is reflected from the sun. The moon has no light of its own. If the sun were to stop shining the moon would not be visible (even as it's not visible during a new moon and during a total solar eclipse).

In the same way we have no light of our own to shine into a dark world, but we reflect the light of Jesus. The light that we reflect is so bright, that Jesus also said that we are the light of the world. Imagine the darkness there would be if we refused to obey Jesus' command to evangelize and did not reflect His light. We are not to hide our light, but let it shine just as a city on a hill cannot be hid. (See Matthew 5:14-16). May Jesus' light, reflected by the church, bring Him all the glory and honor. And as this light shines, may many souls that He died for be delivered from darkness into the Kingdom of God.

Romans 13:12 “The night is nearly over, day is almost here. Let us stop doing the things that belong to the dark, and let us take up weapons for fighting in the light.”


  1. I am hoping that this comment with post because I have been reading all your posts that Judy gives us and have not been able to comment. I changed to Google Chrome and believe it should take.
    All of your posts are wonderful and enriching.
    Your Uncle was a very talented artist and I am blown away by Judy's painting.

  2. I love this theme/topic. ;-) also lighthouses