“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” - Matthew 5:14-16
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” – Isaiah 60:1
I have been thinking this week about what it means to be a church and I love this image of light and how we can be a light to others. In the book, Aquachurch 2.0 by Leonard Sweet, the author expands on this image and asks where that light needs the most to shine. If we confine our light only within the church building and only during weekly worship, we are “preaching to the choir”, so to speak. The place where we most need to shine our light is outside of the church, in the darkness where it is needed. The author states it this way: “Jesus did not call us to be the light of the church. We are not called to be the light of the light. We are called to be the light of the world, following in the path of the ‘true light’, the ‘light of life’.” (Sweet, p. 57)
Jesus himself tells us in the gospel of John that “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
If you are having trouble visualizing the full effect of a shining light, try this. Grab a flashlight and stand in a bright room and shine the flashlight. You will barely see the effect of the light, if at all. But if you take that same flashlight into a darkened room, the flashlight will have a much greater effect. In the same way, if we confine our faith to our weekly worship and not take it out into the world where it is most needed, we are missing the opportunity to share the light of Christ with others.
Gloria Dei has a lot of wonderful ministries that will allow you a chance to share the light of Christ with others in our community and in our world. Take time in the week ahead to pray about where God would most like you to shine your light in the world and maybe sign up to help with a ministry. And thank you to all of you that are already involved in the church’s ministries and outreach to the community!
I would also like to say thank you to all of you for giving me this opportunity to be your intern for the next six months. If I haven’t had the chance to meet you already, please introduce yourself!
Gracious Lord, you are the light of the world and our guiding light. Give us grateful and compassionate hearts and show us how to shine our lights so that others may be drawn to the true light that is you. Amen