Bioluminescence is the ability of certain living things to give off light and is the result of chemical processes that go on in their tissues. Most luminescent animals are found in the oceans, especially in the deeper depths where no sunlight can reach. Numerous creatures such as fish, shrimp, jellyfish, squid and plankton have luminescent parts of their bodies which they use in various ways, such as to lure prey, attract mates, communicate and to defend themselves.
Luminescent lights, near the eyes of one deep sea fish, shine forward like a flashlight, allowing the fish to see where it is going and helping it find its prey. Another species has a luminescent lure which it uses to attract smaller fish, thus bringing them close enough to capture. Some fish have the ability to turn their lights on and off. You may be familiar with how a squid defends itself from predators by squirting out a black inky cloud to confuse the predator and cover its trail so it can escape. Well, there is a deep sea species of squid that does the same thing except it squirts out a luminescent cloud in defense.
Terrestrial examples of bioluminescence are fireflies, glowworms and certain fungi that grow on dead wood. Fireflies, also called lightning bugs, use their flashing lights to attract mates. In the tropics, fireflies are often placed in jars and used as lanterns. In Cuba, women sometimes attach luminescent click beetles to their clothing as ornaments.
We as Christians need to be more luminescent. Jesus says, "Ye are the light of the world . . . Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:14, 16.
"The word was spoken to me, ‘Speak to the people all the words that I shall give thee. Wake up the mighty men. Let them become fully aroused, that they may with pen and voice stir up the people to whom God has given great light, that they may let their light shine forth in clear, steady rays to the world. A world is to be warned; and when the third angel’s message goes forth with a loud cry, minds will be fully prepared to make decisions for or against the truth." 1888 Materials, 510.
What a solemn responsibility we have in regard to the light we have been entrusted with. Let us share this light with others, for the Lord will not come until this light is shared with the whole world.