Like many older cities, New Orleans was in the dark until gas lanterns were introduced in the late 1800s. The city of New Orleans was surrounded by forests and swamps used the gas lanterns to light the streets and local businesses so that people could stay out after dark. Originally, they were cast-iron lanterns with gas flames to light the way. By 1900, electric street lights had arrived in New Orleans but still to this day you can find the gas lantern-looking lights throughout the city on street lamps, businesses, and on people’s homes bringing a unique, ambient light to the city.
After growing up singing the children’s song, “This little light of mine” it may seem obvious but the thing that lamps and believers have in common is to bring light to a dark world. While gas lanterns brought light to New Orleans so that people could see to get around after dark, the believer is supposed to bring light to those around them and point them to Christ. As Paul tells us in Ephesians 3:7-10, believers and the local church are to bring light to the mysteries of God to the world. This year at MissionLab, we will look at what it means to be a follower of Jesus who Illuminates the light of the Gospel and preaches the unsearchable riches of Christ to those around them. We hope that you join us at MissionLab this year and help us to ILLUMINATE the beauty of Christ to those in New Orleans and in your town back home.