Thursday 28 July 2016

Bible Book:

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (vv. 14-16)

Matthew 5:14-16 Thursday 28 July 2016

Psalm: Psalm 121


My daughter once had a job as a secret shopper. The idea wasthat she went to shops, assessed the quality and care of theservice there on behalf of her employers and then left withouthaving her cover blown. In today's passage Jesus suggests thatthere may be something called the secret believer: a person who hasthe light of Christ living within them, but hides it away so no oneelse can see it. "How ridiculous it would be," Jesus seems tosuggest, "if you were to light a lamp and then hide it away so thatthe light was not shared." And yet, by implication, Jesus is sayingthat too many of his followers, are doing just that with the lightof the good news. Lights are lit in order to be seen and not behidden away. Light illuminates dark places; perhaps the light ofGod in the lives of people should light up the dark places in theworld, shining a critical light on injustice and inequality. Lightdirects: even a tiny torch light can show the way: perhaps thelight of God in the lives of God's own people could light the pathto fullness of life or restored hope or acceptance or forgiveness.Light welcomes: there is nothing like coming home at the end of abusy day and seeing the welcoming light from within the home.Perhaps the light of God in the lives of people could shine awelcoming light to those who feel isolated or forgotten.

Yes, of course, in some parts of the world our sisters andbrothers face such terrible peril that to be a 'secret believer' isthe only way to live for now, but for most of us, that is simplynot the case. When God's light shines from the lives of peoplethere is something attractive and vital about it. People are drawntowards the light and so "give glory to [our] Father inheaven".

To Ponder

  • Unlike some world faiths, it is not always possible torecognise a follower of Jesus Christ by their external appearance.What is there in your life that means people will know of yourfaith?
  • Reflecting on your personal experiences, how good is theChristian Church and your local fellowship at displaying awelcoming light to others?
  • What 'warning' lights should the Church in this country beshining?
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