A Bible Reading: Matthew 5:13-16
Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. "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.
One of the many differences for us between living in urban South Yorkshire and rural Northamptonshire is the street lighting. In nearly 20 years of living in Sheffield I don’t think I used a torch on more than a handful of times. It’s very different here! Some sort of torch is a must if you’re walking anywhere after dark. Praise God for the torch app on my mobile phone!
In John’s gospel, Jesus says that he is the light of the world, but here in Matthew’s gospel he changes the metaphor and says, ‘You are the light of the world’. What sort of light do you imagine he wants you to be? Maybe something like a torch for personal use, or something comfortable and safe like a table lamp?
I don’t think that is the sort of light Jesus is talking about, I think he is talking about a light that is prominent to all around, like a city built on a hill, he says. Something that is bold and visible to others, something by which others can be guided. More like a lighthouse or one of the beacons on the hills across the length and breadth of the country that warned of the approaching Armada in the sixteenth century.
Jesus wants his light that is within you to be seen by those around you, not to draw attention to us, but to draw attention to God himself. Let your light shine before others, he says, so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Is there someone in whom you have seen the light of Christ, who by their lives has influenced you and guided you in your faith? Thank God for them; for their faith and for their confidence in the gospel that has caused the light of Christ to shine in you.
Are there situations your life where you need to take the light of Christ out from under the bowl and put it on a stand so that it can shine for all to see? Ask God to give you the faith and the confidence to do that.
Thank you, Lord Jesus for the light that you have put within me. Give me confidence, through your Holy Spirit, to let your light shine in the things I do and the things I say, that others might be drawn to the light and that you may be glorified.
My Lighthouse (by Rend Collective)