Sunday afternoon tornadoes, high winds, and rain swept through Illinois. We were fortunate here in Vermilion County to get through the storms with no loss of life and only damage to buildings and loss of electricity for the most part. As I sat in the dark realizing how limited I was without the usual conveniences of a stove, computer, TV, street lights, etc., Jesus’ sermon about us being a light to others took on greater importance. From time to time, I like to hear a different cadence of scripture to have a fresh viewpoint. Hear Jesus’ words as interpreted in The Message:
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
Upon realizing that our electrical outage was going to last a while, I assembled the flashlights and Hank gathered the candles. It helped us get by with the personal reading and writing we both needed to do, but was not cutting the darkness for anyone else. And I think that’s the angle many of us approach this directive from our Lord. We are fine being lights as we see it benefits us and ours. However, the point of Jesus’ teaching about being lights does not seem to be for our personal safety and pleasure, but for others’ well being.
I don’t know how God is calling you to defy the darkness. Perhaps you shine as an example of grace and the voice of reason at work. Maybe you are called to lead with wisdom and godly insight in your community. God may need you to stand up against injustice and evil. There are many forms of darkness, but God is counting on each one of his children to pierce the shadowy veil. In order to do that, we have to shine, not for our own benefit, but for others!
God bless, Deann