You are the light of the world…

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Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 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. 16 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. 

In Matthew chapter 5 Jesus has been teaching about God’s kingdom and describing those who, by the grace of God, seek a place in that kingdom. They look very different than those who seek a place in a the kingdoms of this world. In verses 1-12 Jesus describes them as “poor in spirit” and “meek” and “merciful” and “peacemakers”… and so on. People who pursue such things are different. Very different – but in a good way. They stand out. They’re like a light that shines in darkness. The passage ends with:

“…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven”.

I’m particularly drawn to the phrase “that they may see your good works”. The idea is not to be some kind of show-off, but to be so habitually performing good deeds in Jesus’ name that others can’t help but notice. It’s a simple consequence of living differently, pursuing different things than those who do not follow Jesus.

This morning I’m asking myself, “Do I stand out?” Honestly, I’m not sure that I do. I have my moments perhaps, but as a matter of course I’m pretty sure I look like everyone else. At least on the outside. How does Jesus want me to be a light today? What are the good works I might do, not to score brownie points with God, but simply as an expression of who I am – a child of God who wants to reflect the heart of God? What about you? What opportunities will God place before you today… to shine?

Lord open our eyes to the possibilities today. Give us grace to act when we have a chance to love, to serve, to be salt and light. Amen.

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