“Let Your Light Shine”  

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 5:16

It seems that a lot of the conversations that I have in the neighborhood and even in the church weave in and out of the idea that these are uncertain times. There seem to be a lot of unanswered questions. There seems to be a lot of transition. Nearly everyone that I’ve talked to seem to have at least some concerns about their own interests or the interests of others that seem to be at risk.

The Bible is full of history that reports circumstances very much like this. There were times of uncertainty. There were times of evil. There were times of fear. There were times of confusion. People were anxious. Often, times like these have been compared to darkness. The Bible uses that kind of language.

It seems to be a valid comparison. It is not just physical darkness, but the emotion of darkness. We feel like we are in the dark when we have no idea where things are headed. Sometimes it feels like we are headed down a dark alley and don’t know where it leads. When we try to navigate through these times we use language like “jab in the dark,” “stab in the dark,” or punch in the dark.” We don’t really have any confidence in our own solutions.

With this comparison or illustration of darkness, the first conclusion would be that we need light. We are in the season of Epiphany for the church year. It is sometimes called the season of light. I was very much encouraged by the words of Jesus.

Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12

I will testify that I have found these words of Jesus to be so true. My thought today is, “If the world needs light, (and it does,) then the world needs Jesus.” Along with that thought is this, “If I need light, (and I do,) than I need Jesus.” And Jesus has come to me in Word and Sacrament and met my need. I thank Him for his intervention into my world and life.

As I look out into the world, engage in conversation, observe the words and actions of the people around me, I see so many looking for something . . . looking for light. Jesus is what is really needed.

You and I have been given an awesome privilege. Very early in His ministry, at the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told His early followers, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” – Matthew 5:14

I am watching to see what Jesus does with a people like us. Can’t wait to see how this plays out. I’m in. I am praying that we all passionately join together to see this happen in our families, church and neighborhood.

Let me end where I started. Hear again the invitation of Jesus. 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 5:16

God be praised!

Pastor Tommy

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