Chances are you can easily recognize this figure and know that it is a symbol of liberty and freedom. What you may not know is that during its first 16 years, on what is now known as Liberty Island, it served as an official lighthouse. Following its inauguration in 1886, the Statue of Liberty was under the supervision of the United States Lighthouse Board and functioned as a navigational aid for ships entering the New York harbor. Unfortunately, its mariner guiding days came to an end in 1902 when it was turned over to the War Department. Then in 1933 the National Park Service took over its administration and has made of Lady Liberty one of the most visited attractions in the U.S.A.
Jesus said that we are the light of the world, a city on a hill whose lights cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14). In some of my previous devotions, I have used the analogy of a lighthouse to help you understand how we can actually be the light that Jesus refers to in Matthew 5. But when I consider how the Statue of Liberty has served, not only as a beacon, but also as an inspiring symbol of freedom, friendship, independence, and patriotism, I think of how much more than a lighthouse you and I truly are.
Like a lighthouse, we shine the light of Christ’s salvation on a world that is darkened by sin, but we can do more than that. Because of God’s grace we can be a testimony of true freedom by living a life free of guilt and condemnation. A life that is filled with the peace and the joy of our Lord. We can model genuine friendship by intentionally caring for others and putting our neighbor’s needs before ours. We can declare our spiritual independence from this world by not conforming to it and by being transformed (daily) into the image of Christ. Plus, we can show real patriotism not only by celebrating our country’s commendable victories but also by mournfully praying for it in recognition of its moral and spiritual shortcomings.
We have a lot in common with the Statue of Liberty. We were created to be more than a lighthouse!
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to live in the freedom you have granted me through faith in Christ, to genuinely love and care for those around me, and to strengthen my dependence on you. Have mercy on our nation and turn its heart towards you. May I continue to be the light that leads others to your salvation. In Jesus name I pray, amen.