Lessons from a Lighthouse

Once upon a time, back when I was much younger, I spent my days sailing a cargo ship across the Pacific Ocean. My main task was making sure the ship was where it was supposed to be and to keep it headed in the right direction. Navigation. This was before the days of GPS; back when the best tools for determining where we were in the vast watery expanse were a sextant and the heavenly lights. Some electronic navigation devices were available, but none of them were as accurate in pin-pointing our position as the sun, moon, and stars.

More accurate still were the visual landmarks, natural and man-made, lining the shore. They could be anything from a water tower to a tall building to a radio antenna on a hill. Visible only during the day for the most part, and only when you were close enough to land. Until the lights came on.

The lights. Visible during the day as well as in the night, their light pierced through the darkness, and for many miles if they were bright enough. A moonless night on the ocean is an inky black abyss so dark and deep it seems to reach to the innermost parts of you. It surrounds you and consumes everything around. The blackness of it is an oppressive vault from which there seems no escape.

Light shining from the distant shore is hope. It is the assurance that the darkness will pass.

Lessons from a Lighthouse

Point Reyes Lighthouse
When I think of lighthouses my mind wanders to the the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:14-16. While he wasn’t speaking specifically about lighthouses, if you don’t mind, I would like to paraphrase it a bit.

You are a lighthouse, a light for all those who come near so that they may see. Set on a hill, the lighthouse can be seen for miles as its radiant beam cuts through the darkness. It is not to be hidden. The light must shine, revealing the way to safe harbor so that the wayfarer may find their way home and rejoice and glorify the Creator of Light.

You are a lighthouse…

In his sermon, Jesus says that each one of us, who claims the name of Jesus, is “the light of the world.” Meaning we are the only light the lost will ever see until they too believe. Jesus is The Light, of course, and we, as His followers are the light-bearers, the lighthouses. We are the light they see shining from the darkness, bringing the hope of Jesus to a lost world.

A lighthouse serves…

George Bernard Shaw once said, “I can think of no other edifice constructed by man as altruistic as a lighthouse. They were built only to serve.”

The light is not to be hidden. It must serve the purpose for which it was created. It is set on high ground to be seen, not hidden, but to give light to all. To serve others.

A lighthouse that does not serve is of no use. Just before this Jesus use another metaphor, “you are the salt of the earth.” Then He said if you aren’t serving you are no longer of any use.

A lighthouse shines…

Dwight L. Moody said, “Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining—they just shine.”

Pigeon Point Lighthouse, CA

That is all a lighthouse does. It shines.

Today we look at how beautiful lighthouses are. If you are like me you make pictures of them. A functioning lighthouse humbly calls attention to itself only to guide people to safe harbor. In this way it brings praise to its creator.

As The Light shines in us and through us those living life in a dark world are shown the way to the safe harbor of salvation in Christ, and the Father receives the glory.

Being a Lighthouse

We are lighthouses in a dark and dangerous world. Light is generated in us, it is reflected out from us, and it is seen by those who long for a safe harbor in which to rest their weary soul.

You are a lighthouse for Jesus. Just shine.

The Lessons

  • Serve as a lighthouse that others may know Jesus.
  • Shine my light that others may see Jesus.
  • Guide others home that God may be glorified.

This isn’t everything one can learn from a lighthouse, so if you have anything to add you are invited to start a conversation in the comments.


Contact me if you would like to find out more or have questions about following the light out of the darkness.

Want to see more of my lighthouse images? Go to: RandyBaynePhotograhy.com. Thank you.