July 26, 2006

"Let Your Light Shine"

Matthew 5:13-16

"May [people] see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16


In our travels around the rural Philippines, we've seen many different types of lights, from electric lights and candles to battery-powered fluorescent bulbs. One tribal man lights his soot-blackened home by burning shims of sappy pine. My favorite is the ordinary oil and wick lamp that one dialect calls "the kinky."

Some lights are smoky and inefficient, while others are bright and cheery. But all have one thing in common: they give light.

Light is quite remarkable if you think about it. It travels at 186,000 miles per second and behaves as if it were both a solid particle and a wave of energy. It always overcomes darkness--in fact, the darker the night, the more impressive even the slightest glow. And it exists by constantly giving itself away.

Jesus says of us, "You are the light of the world." This imagery suggests that the life God's Spirit kindles within us, while powerful and delightful, is meant not only for us to enjoy. It's a life that's to be given away for others. In fact, a candle placed under a bowl will soon suffocate and die. Our lives, rather, should have a giving quality about them and be marked by an outward flow. After all, this is the quality of the life of the Father within us, who so loves the world that he gives and keeps on giving. "Let your light shine" today.

Father, fan our little lights into flame. Help us remove the shades that hinder your light from reaching every inch of our lives at home, work, or play. In Jesus' name, Amen.

About the author — Tim Holwerda

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