On this day in 1918, Daylight Saving Time went into effect throughout the U.S. for the first time. Robert Garland, a Pittsburgh city councilman, led the charge to implement DST, which was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson. However, the law was repealed the next year. It wasn’t until World War II until DST was re-established by law on a year-round basis. Time falls back one hour at 2:00 a.m. on the last Sunday of October. Arizona and Hawaii are the only two states that do not observe Daylight Saving Time.
Why was DST instituted in the first place? Early proponents argued that farmers could use the extra hour of summer daylight for planting. Later, supporters claimed that DST saved energy, a claim borne out by several studies done by the Department of Transportation. Lastly, DST has cut down on the number of traffic accidents in the U.S. and Great Britain. Though accidents in the dark mornings increase, they are more than offset by the decrease in evening accidents.
Christians aren’t supposed to save their light, but shine it for all to see. Our good works are filaments through which the glory of God burns. The English translation in Matthew 5:16, “good,” is actually a bland substitute for kalos. Originally, the Greek word meant lovely, fair, pleasing to the eye. Later it was used to describe practical goodness, as when we say, “That’s a good car.” If our Christ-motivated deeds just fed the hungry, clothed the naked and healed the sick, that would be enough—but Jesus said they can also be winsome, attracting others as a beautiful woman attracts suitors.
We live in a dark world, dimmed by countless sins. Jesus didn’t say to save the world with our good deeds. He told us to shine so that the glory of God would be revealed. We leave the saving to Jesus, and he leaves the shining to us.