Shine for God!
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.”
Matthew 5:14 (NRSV)
The older I get the more I can identify with the three old guys in “The Last of the Summer Wine.” Throughout the many escapades over the years of this TV programme, this trio were just being themselves, just enjoying the things that they had always wanted to do together as friends; no matter how hair-brained the scheme or whether it was successful or not, they just had fun. There is something to be said for that unrestrained joy, that bubbling good humour, that in turn brings delight to others.
Sometimes as Christians we take life and ourselves too seriously. I do realise that life is a serious business and that we ourselves do go through many trials throughout our existence but, as the saying goes—“We need to lighten up!” No pun intended!
And here’s why—“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.” (Isaiah 60:1-2).
This bright and beautiful light of God was not meant to be hidden under an earthen bushel measure, but to be placed on a lamp stand and therefore give light to everyone; so said Jesus! (Matthew 5:15).
In the previous verse (quoted above) he does not tell us that we are “the light of the church” but “the light of the world”—our calling is to be visible to everyone as a huge glowing beacon in the darkness. “A Christianity whose impact stops at the church doorway is not much use to anyone, is it? There can be no such thing as secret discipleship, for either secrecy destroys the discipleship or the discipleship destroys the secrecy”—quoted by William Barclay in the Daily Study Bible the Gospel of Matthew page 122.
Having heard the speech given to the United Nations General Assembly by 16 year old Malala Youssufzai, the schoolgirl who the Taliban tried to silence by shooting her; I feel inspired to quote one of her thoughts. She said, “We realise the importance of light when we see darkness!” I know this is true, light brings freedom from the darkness; light guides and shows the way and brightens up precious lives. The light that can be seen, the light that guides, and the light that brightens lives—this is the light that we Christians need to be reflecting each and every day, because this is our chance to shine for God!
Lord, may your amazing love shine through us daily like a bright beacon that points the way to you and lights up the lives of others who see it.
Study by Cliff Neill
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
LUTON LU1 5JE
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