The Sand Island Lighthouse was first built in 1837 as a beacon to guide ships into Mobile Bay, and the current structure was built in 1864. But advances in navigation and years of erosion have reduced the old lighthouse to an interesting curiosity of nautical nostalgia. Despite attempts at historical preservation, the old lighthouse now seems in danger of falling into the sea.
Jesus taught that his followers could be light for the world, that their light would be a way of visible loving-kindness, and that their light could transform life. In other words, to follow the way of Christ is to be a lighthouse.
But if lighthouses aren’t shining the light of Christ’s love, they’re just relics of nostalgic curiosity. Historical preservation may maintain a vague memory of past light, but a lighthouse without light really isn’t a lighthouse anymore. That’s important for the Church to remember.
The old Sand Island Lighthouse may be out of date when it comes to navigation, but Christ’s love lived to its brightest intensity is a beacon of hope, a means of safe passage, and a light that can transform the darkest of circumstances.