Each year, around the first week of June, something extraordinary takes place in the Great Smoky Mountains. The Synchronous Firefly Viewing Event occurs when tens-of-thousands of lightening bugs gather in swarms and flash in harmony, as the entire forest alternates between light and darkness. Located just a few minutes from downtown Gatlinburg, the largest population of synchronous fireflies in the Western Hemisphere creates an incredible phenomenon that is a sight to behold! What makes this so special that thousands of people request passes to see it each year?
Just steps away from the neon lights of Gatlinburg, viewers enter the forest in the dark, guided only by low-light flashlights with red filters. As the lucky spectators arrive at the viewing location, flashlights are turned off. As everyone’s eyes adjust to the darkness, suddenly the woods explode with the light of these lightening bugs. There, in the midst of total darkness, the light, created by these thousands of fireflies, stuns onlookers with its arrival. Why? Because even though it is expected, the affect is unexpected. For you see, we don’t expect a little ‘ole lightening bug to provide such an amazing and bright show.
Jesus said in John 8 – I Am the Light of the World. But he also said that we are the Light of the World. In Matthew 5:14-16, we read, You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Just like these synchronous fireflies, may we join our lights together to shine in the darkness so that the world can see Jesus in us.