December 16, 2020

Does the Church Let Its Light Shine?

Matthew 5:13-16

“You are the light of the world. . . . Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

—  Matthew 5:14-16

In his book Christ in Crisis, Jim Wallis says that the church has often failed to let its light shine. It has, he says, failed to speak out against injustice, racism, and poverty—and, too often, it has “passed by on the other side,” like the priest and Levite in Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).

As the church, we do well to listen closely to Jesus when he calls each of us to let our light shine so that God, our Father, may be glorified.

Does your church do everything it can to let its light shine? Do we go out of our way to speak out, and do we do everything we can to reach out to people who are struggling, or oppressed, or persecuted, or needing God’s love and help in some other way? There are so many needs and so many opportunities—not just in other countries but also in our own neighborhoods and communities.

In his book God Came Near, Max Lucado tells a story about four candles in a closet that refused to come out to bring light during a power outage. One candle needed more time to get ready. One candle said that giving light was not her gift. Another was too busy, and the other didn’t feel qualified.

What’s our excuse?

Lord, help us all to let our light shine wherever you place us. Help us to reach out to people who are often ignored or overlooked in our communities. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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