A man was killed at a railroad crossing one summer evening in 1891. His relatives sued the railroad, claiming negligence on the part of the watchman. During the ensuing trial, the watchman was called to the witness stand. The prosecuting attorney asked him several questions. “Were you on duty at the crossing at the time of the accident?” “Did you have a lantern?” “Did you wave your lantern in warning?”
Having answered in the affirmative to every question, the watchman helped the railroad win its case. An officer of the railroad came to see the watchman later to thank him for giving evidence in favor of the railroad. The officer inquired, “Tell me, Mr. Jarvis, were you nervous during the trial?” The watchman replied, “Yes, I feared every moment that he would ask, “Was the lantern lit?”
Anyone can go through the motions of outward religion. We can wave our lanterns wildly, but it accomplishes nothing if we don’t light them. Speaking of Jesus, John wrote, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). Jesus is light and the way that He “lights” the world is through us. The night is dark. Many lost people have no hope but us. Is your light shining?