Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Lantern

The Lantern


Years ago in a small midwestern town one man’s job was to watch

the railroad crossing. When a train would approach at night he was

to wave a lantern to warn those driving on the narrow road that

a train was approaching and to stop until it passed by.


One particular night the train was coming down the tracks as usual

and the man took his place to warn any oncoming cars. He could see

a car in the distance approaching the railroad tracks so he began

to wave his lantern in the moonlit sky. The car continued to come

so the man waved the lantern even more briskly. The train was only

seconds away from the crossing. The car was not even slowing down.

The man could not believe it so he waved the lantern even harder.

Still the car came. The car was almost to the track and the train

was about to pass. The man could not stand in the middle of the road

any longer. Again he frantically waved his lantern and the car

continued to come at full speed. Finally the man jumped out of

the way as the car sped by and was hit by the train on the tracks.

Everyone in the car was killed.


At the investigation, the grief-stricken man explained to the authorities

how he tried to warn the oncoming vehicle but it would not stop.

The officer in charge said to the man at the crossing, “Sir you waved

your lantern -- but you forgot to light it.”


Jesus has called us to be lights to the world. It is our job to take

the good news of the Gospel to everyone we can. But it does no good

to tell people about Jesus if the light within us is not shining.

Without the light of Christ, we will have little impact.

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