And then he [Jesus] told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” – Mark the Evangelist
This lighthouse is known as the San Juan del Salvamento Lighthouse. It is located atop a rocky hill on Isla de los Estados, an island at the southernmost tip of Argentina, S.A. The island is just a few miles from Tierra del Fuego, an archipelago commonly referred to as “The End of the World.”
Built in 1858, this lighthouse stands 21 feet in height. It is an octagonal shaped building made out of wood with a metal roof. Its flashing lights can be seen through one of its windows. It was nicknamed “Lighthouse at the End of the World” by Jules Verne who wrote a novel of the same name.
The lighthouse was operational until 1900. After being unattended and battered by the inclement weather for many years, its structure was eventually compromised and it slowly began to deteriorate. It wasn’t until 1997 that its remains were carefully moved from the island to the mainland where it was reconstructed at a local museum. However, a reproduction of the lighthouse was built at the original site in 1998 and it has been serving as an active navigational guide to mariners since then.
The San Juan del Salvamento Lighthouse may have inspired Jules to write a piratical adventure novel, but it has inspired me to write a devotion on the importance of shining God’s light to the “end of the world.”
He who is the light of the world entrusted us with His light so that we may proclaim the Gospel, or Good News, of His salvation to everyone, everywhere. This Good News is a message of love and hope, but most important, it is a message of reconciliation to God. It is truly the best imaginable good news anyone can ever receive, especially in a world where political apathy and social injustices seem to be the dominant topic on all information channels.
It is said that bad news travels fast, yet I think about third world countries and indigenous communities where people are living without media influence. Not to say that they don’t experience troubles and challenges of their own, but they are blessed by not having to hear about all the other bad news around the world. They do, however, need to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ and that is where you and I, as lighthouses for God, come into play. For we have been called to shine His light all over the world.
“…how can they believe in him [Jesus] if they have never heard about him? -The Apostle Paul to the Romans.
You would think that good news disseminates just as quickly as bad news, especially if it’s the Good News of true love, forgiveness, peace, and joy. Unfortunately, it does not. There are still many who have no idea who Jesus is nor have they experienced the power of His saving grace. Either because it is forbidden by law, they live in areas that are almost inaccessible, or simply because no one has cared enough to tell them. “But how can they call on him [Jesus] to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)
The Bible tells us that before ascending to heaven Jesus commanded his disciples to “Go and make disciples of all nations.” We need to understand four important factors when considering this portion of Scripture. First, this command known as “The Great Commission” was not for the first-century followers of Jesus alone. It is for everyone who has become a disciple of Christ through faith in his atoning sacrifice. Secondly, we cannot take for granted that just because we are in the first world everyone has heard the Gospel. Nor can we assume that if they have heard it they understand what it means. That is why we need to take advantage of all the communication mediums available (broadcasts, the internet, publications, etc.) to proclaim and explain the only news that can change the world one person at a time. Thirdly, we don’t need to be pastors, evangelists or theologians to share the Good News. We simply have to look for opportunities to tell others about Jesus; who He is, and why He came. There may even be times when our testimony will be enough to cause someone to question our faith, giving us an opportunity to openly witness to them. And finally, this task is not limited by our inability to travel abroad. We need to stop thinking “local” and think “global” when it comes to sharing the Gospel. By partnering with missionaries who set off to evangelize in foreign lands we can reach people all around the globe. Yes, we must pray for missionaries and their families, but we must also support them financially so that they can effectively shine God’s light to “the end of the world.”
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank you for the Good News of Jesus Christ, and thank you for trusting me with the light of His salvation so that I may proclaim it to everyone, everywhere. I may not be able to travel the world to share it, but I ask you to bless and provide for all the missionaries who do. I also ask that you protect them, for many put their lives in danger in order to spread the message of hope. Make a way, Oh Lord, so that I may be able to support them financially as well. In Jesus name I pray, amen.