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  • Shawn Thornton

This Little Light of Mine

Sunday - May 23rd

Scripture to Read Today: Matthew 5:14-16

Let your light shine before others,

that they may see your good deeds and

glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16


The song "This Little Light of Mine" is often attributed, with a date of 1920, to composer Harry Dixon Loes (1895–1965), a white man from the Midwest. But researchers at Moody Bible Institute, where Loes taught for 21 years, could find no evidence he wrote the song or claimed to have written it.


Some sources believe "This Little Light of Mine" to be a Negro spiritual from the plantations of the south before the civil war. But it doesn't appear in any collection of plantation songs from the nineteenth century.


It's possible either the lyrics, melody, or both originated in African American communities after the civil war and that Harry Loes acted as an adapter/arranger. Either way, documentation is lacking. Several researchers believe it's probably best to cite the song's author as "Unknown."


A version of the song sung by Doris McMurray, a black inmate at Gorree State Farm Prison in Huntsville, Texas, is believed to be the earliest surviving recording of the song. Music preservationists John and Ruby Lomax collected McMurray's version of "This Little Light of Mine" during their 1939 Southern States recording trip. The song soon became popular on a broader scale in both the black gospel and white folk-music traditions.


During the 1950s and '60s, "This Little Light of Mine" became a central civil rights anthem. The lyrics were adapted by folk music artist and civil rights activist Zilphia Horton, among others, to suit the context of freedom marches, etc.


In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus communicates that the light is the light of Jesus Himself who lives in us. As we let Him shine through—by letting people see the beauty of his grace and truth, expressed in good deeds—we draw others into a spirit of gratitude and praise to God. The light in me might be "little" as others perceive it, but it is the light of the Son of God shining through me!


As you think of how you serve others and love them, do you genuinely desire to do so in such a way that they see Jesus in you? Jesus left us here so that, as lights for Him, our lives would shine brightly within the darkness of our world's evil, injustice, and immorality. A little light can make a lot of difference in a world full of darkness!


Is your light shining for Christ in your home, neighborhood, place of work, and online presence?


Listen to the version of "The Little Light of Mine" recorded by one of Calvary's worship leaders, John Coggins, by CLICKING HERE. Listen to it a few times today to remind yourself about shining your light, so others see Jesus in you!


Jesus has sent us into our world today to shine as lights for Him! Let's make sure others see Jesus in us!



"This Little Light of Mine"

-Author & Date Unknown


This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine,

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.


Won't let Satan blow it out, I'm gonna let it shine.

Won't let Satan blow it out, I'm gonna let it shine.

Won't let Satan blow it out, I'm gonna let it shine,

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.


Hide it under a bushel, NO!, I'm gonna let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel, NO!, I'm gonna let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel, NO!, I'm gonna let it shine,

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.


Let it shine all over the world, I'm gonna let it shine.

Let it shine all over the world, I'm gonna let it shine.

Let it shine all over the world, I'm gonna let it shine,

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.


Let it shine 'til Jesus comes, I'm gonna let it shine

Let it shine 'til Jesus comes, I'm gonna let it shine

Let it shine 'til Jesus comes, I'm gonna let it shine,

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

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