There are some songs that we sing, normally to or around children, that have simple lines but profound meanings. Of of those songs is "This Little Light of Mine". We sing this song normally during Vacation Bible School or in children's classes to encourage the children's participation. We even normally use our index fingers outstretched to symbolize us holding a candle to show our "little lights". This simple song is great though not only for its popularity and fun-factor, but also because of the great lesson that it imparts to even the "littlest lights".
The main idea of the song comes from Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." The application that we are hopefully making to children and the adults alike is that we have an influence to those that are around us. We are in a world full of darkness and through the light of Christ, we are able to lighten it up just a little bit.
The second part of the song is "hide it under a bushel? NO! I'm gonna let it shine..." This is great because is comes right from Scripture. Matthew 5:14-15, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house." We use lights to do just that...LIGHT! So if we are going to be lights in the world, we really need to let it shine.
The third part of the song we sing is "all around my neighborhood...I'm gonna let it shine". This shows the influence that we have is always relevant. When we are outside in our yards, when we are stuck in traffic trying to get home, when we're out grocery shopping...we always need to let our lights shine in our community.
The fourth part of the song is "Won't let Satan blow it out...I'm gonna let it shine." We are surrounded by temptations and the tempter that discourages us from shining our lights. We are encouraged then to be ever mindful of that draw and to persevere.
This little song has served us well for many years. The timeless lessons, the fun-factor of singing it, and to see the little faces of the kids when they hold up their little lights are all important factors as to why many people love this song. May it serve to encourage us to keep our lights shining as bright as we can.