“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, 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 who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16 English Standard Version)
One of the themes of the season of Epiphany, which begins January 6 and ends the day before Ash Wednesday (Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras) is Light. The light came to the people who did not know God. The light that came is none other than the Messiah, Jesus our Lord.
Jesus condescended from his heavenly throne, becoming like us, taking on our flesh and living among us. In his incarnation, he brought into the world the perfect light, as he is the light. “The true light which gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” (John 1:4 ESV) Yet the world did not recognize the light. His own people didn’t recognize him. Yet he was the living God made man – the light for all.
In the 21st century, the light is still in the world living in the hearts of believers. Each one of us who has become a disciple of Jesus carries in our souls the light of the world through the gift of Holy Spirit. We bear in our bodies the Spirit of God and we either let the light shine or we hide it from others.
If we are to let the light shine, then our actions and attitudes will be the points of illumination to a world groping in the darkness. People will be drawn to the light in us because of the genuine love of God shining through us. Genuine love is more than being polite or proper. It is heartfelt care of others. It is the light that Jesus brought into the world and that God uses to draw people to himself.
As we begin a New Year, let your light shine and bring glory to God. This is most readily done by allowing God to have more of you – your thoughts, your words and your actions. Fill yourself with his Word by reading the Bible, joining Bible studies and worshiping on Sunday mornings. As you take in more of the things of God, the more light shines through you. Let It Shine!