Light is an intriguing phenomenon. A glimpse of light can awaken an entire room of darkness. Light wakes and warms the body, reveals what was once hidden and has the uncanny ability to life and even lighten the soul. Our days quite literally revolve around light. Even at night (the absence of the sun’s light) we are presented with the moon who offers us borrowed (or stolen if you prefer) light from the sun.

Every now and then I’m taught 2 words in Swahili with the exact same meaning. And for my most recent enlightenment, I’ll shed some light on the situation for you.

Mwanga: n.  light

Nuru: n. light

Does that help???

But after some further investigation I’ve learned there’s much more. “Mwanga” is used mostly as an older source of light (like the sun in the form of daylight) while “nuru” could be described as the luminescence of a light bulb or even the shimmer of stars or glisten of snow in the sun. (Okay…obviously the snow imagery is NOT from my experiences here in Morogoro but it felt like like a plausible depiction to me…) Some people use “mwanga” in reference to more traditional forms of light that we use (fires and candlelight) while “nuru” could describe more modern uses of lights (flashlights, overhead lighting and those ever-annoying high beams.)

Light imagery shines throughout the Bible. God’s first words in the Bible were “Let there be light” and guess what?… there was. Psalm 119:105 tells us that God’s word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. And Jesus calls himself the Light of the world. To put it lightly, expressions of light are highlighted EVERYWHERE!

This brings to me (and now I guess YOU TOO!) some questions…

What kind of light is God in your life?

Is God an old-fashioned lantern that you only use when nothing else works or in case of an emergency? Is God the main source of light to perceive life through…or a mere reflection placed behind other priorities in life? Does the glory and beauty of God shine in your attitude and interaction with others? Have you realized that even with the smallest ounce of love, peace or faith that God (like a match lit in a pitch-black room) can do incredible works?

The light of God  is here and ready to enlighten the world…

are you going to let it shine?




If you want my advice, I’d recommend:

Let it shine!
Let it shine!
Let it shine!