Saturday, June 28, 2008

Shining Brightly In the Capitol

One of the highlights of our beautiful capitol building is the extraordinary chandelier which hangs over the rotunda.

Made of Czechoslovakian crystal and weighing two tons, the light usually hangs 179 feet, 9 inches from the floor. It measures eight feet in diameter and requires 96 light bulbs to illuminate the 10,080 Czech crystals. Normally, the fixture is lowered every four years for cleaning and replacement of bulbs upon the inauguration of a new governor or re-election of an incumbent.

Last year however, the chandelier was removed and sent to a company in New Hampshire to be completely cleaned, repaired, and refurbished. While the fixture had been maintained regularly, years of accumulated tarnish and corrosion had significantly dimmed its brightness and beauty. Before this year’s regular legislative session began, it was returned to its central location. The photo is from the lighting ceremony, and the difference in the restored fixture is spectacular. It was kept in a lower than normal position during the session so it could be admired, but even after raised to its regular height, the light is noticeably brighter in the rotunda area.

The restoration of the chandelier in the rotunda reminds me of our ministry in the capitol and our testimony in a dark world. We have considered Jesus’ description of His followers as “the light of the world”. (Matthew 5:14) We have discussed what it means to “let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your father who is in heaven”. (vs. 16) Perhaps the dimmed, deteriorated condition of the chandelier might challenge us to consider how we as believers may let our light be “hidden” or “placed under a bushel”. (vs. 14)

How we live our lives can easily dim our testimony for the Lord. Becoming distracted from the bold proclamation of the gospel by other priorities can hide the message which truly changes hearts and transforms lives.

Let us each consider how we live and our priority to share the gospel with others. Whether in the capitol, in our community, or in our own families, our light shines brightest when we share the good news of the gospel and we clearly demonstrate the change the gospel makes in our own lives.

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