Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Christian Outdoor Object Lesson 29: Light Mirror

Photo Credit: Brennon Garner

Key Verse

“Neither do you light a lamp, and put it under a measuring basket, but on a stand; and it shines to all who are in the house. Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:15-16 WEB

Lesson
Note: This lesson is best done where the moon can be seen well. Alt: Use a flashlight and mirror to demonstrate how the sun (flashlight) reflects off the moon (mirror).

In Genesis chapter one we learn that God created the moon to give light at night. The moon is a very interesting celestial body. It has attracted man’s wonder for hundreds and thousands of years. Besides the sun it has been the primary means of keeping time for almost every group of people on earth. The ancient Aztec’s of Central America had a 13-day week likely based on the moon cycle.1 The average lunar month is actually about 27 days, not 30, so two 13-day weeks would be closer to one month.2

God did not make the moon a source of light. Instead the moon reflects the light of the sun. Much like a mirror does not produce its own light, but reflects light such as that from a flashlight. If the moon was a ball of fire like the sun it would surely consume us! Also, the moon would be to bright. Since it reflects sunlight it is just bright enough most nights to allow us to see outside but still get good sleep. The brightness of the moon still changes drastically throughout the moon cycle. An interesting fact is that only two days before a full moon, the moon is only half the brightness of a full moon.2 You might think the moon gets brighter and brighter until it is full, but that is not the case. God likes to surprise us in creation.

The moon provides a beautiful object lesson. According to Genesis one the primary reason for the moon to exist is to give the darkness light. But it cannot do this on its own. Alone, the moon is nothing; it cannot fulfill its purpose. The sun, on the other hand, can provide light during the day. Everyone around the Earth cannot see it all the time. So the moon is completely dependent on the sun for its light. And the sun needs the moon so it can provide light during the nighttime.

In a similar way we are like the moon. Alone, without Jesus, we are nothing; we cannon fulfill our purpose. Our purpose is to shine God’s light, his love, to the world just as it says in Matthew 5:15-16. Jesus is in heaven and everyone cannot see him. So he wants us to be his lights here on earth. He chose us to reflect his character like a mirror, just as the moon does for the sun. Some people think it is hard to be a Christian. But Jesus made it quite simple. He left us an example of exactly what he wants us to do. All we need to do is follow his example and we will reflect his love to the world.

Questions

Have you ever seen the moon look remarkable or uncommon? Describe it.

What exactly is Matthew 5:15-16 referring to when it says “let your light so shine before men”?

In what ways can we reflect the light of Jesus to others?


Sources

1 http://www.ancient.eu/Aztec_Civilization/

2 http://www.space.com/11162-10-surprising-moon-facts-full-moons.html

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