Motel 6 is a motel franchise with over a thousand locations that was started in 1962 in Santa Barbara, California as a lower-cost alternative. Aside from its low prices, Motel 6 may be best known for its series of commercials with National Public Radio personality, Tom Bodett, who closed every ad with the line “We’ll Leave the Light On For You.” The slogan was both an instant and lasting success, staying with the chain for over 25 years and counting. Why? The slogan kindled warm feelings of home. The idea of light also welcomed weary travelers, shining like a beacon in the night showing them the way to rest, comfort, shelter and safety.
In Philippians 2:15 Paul says, “Believers, you are to shine as light in the world.” Paul uses the Greek word that means a beacon – much like a lighthouse. One might say then, that we are called to be lighthouses – to warn, to show the way, to direct to safe harbor. Michael Youssef says, “Everyday we are surrounded by people groping around in the darkness, separated from the God who loves them. God uses His people, His children, like beacons from a lighthouse to show the way to Him.” The German atheist philosopher Nietzsche once said that if he saw more redeemed people he might be more inclined to believe in their Redeemer.
Is your light on?
Notice that Motel 6 says, “We’ll leave the light on for you” not “We’ll turn the light on for you.” The light is ALWAYS on.
Do you turn your light on on Sunday mornings…and turn it off Sunday afternoon?
Do you turn your light on for conversations with the pastor…and turn it off when you talk to your husband or wife? How about your children? Your mother-in-law? Behind your boss’s back? In the teachers’ lounge? At a ball game?
Do you turn your light on at church and turn it off in the workplace?
Do you turn your light on during Bible Study…and turn it off when “hanging” with your buddies?
Notice, too, that Motel 6 just lets the light shine.
Two points in the form of questions:
- What happens to those lost souls that are groping in the darkness, separated from our God who loves them when your light is turned off? (Hmm? I’m thinking something like a shipwreck.)
- Is it YOUR decision whether to be light or not?
Youssef says, “Either we are “light” by the grace of God, or we are willfully disobeying the One who saves us for such a s time as this.” Yikes! The option is not ours. We are called to be light in this dark world – all the time, everywhere. To fail to do so is to disobey God. It’s that simple. Leave your light on!
THIS WEEK: Read Matthew 5:16. Monitor your “light.” Is it on? Is it burning brightly? Are you letting it shine or trying to force it to shine?