Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“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 (The Message)
As I sit here this morning, I know that the air outside is getting cooler and crisper but it doesn’t seem to be helping my perspective. As I sit here reading and re-reading those words above from Eugene Peterson’s The Message translation—I want to believe the message those words of Christ convey and I want to do it.
I mean being a light to the world.
Being a light to others. Helping others. Giving them a lift up.
But here’s the truth—it seems to be too much to do, and way too often if Christ means always. That’s a lot. Most days I am exhausted even before I get out of bed, and stay that way during the day and right up to the time when I pass out on my pillow whenever I do finally get to go to bed.
How about you? Can you connect a little bit with that?
But there it is in Jesus’ own words—“You’re here to be light.” Probably means me too; I don’t suppose he was just talking to “you.”
We are light.
We are to be light to others.
We are to be light to the world.
That seems to be what He’s saying. But how? Seriously, how can we do it?
Honestly, in the midst of all that life throws at us, especially today with the economy in such a mess and the world spinning out of control. In the midst of all the issues in our lives, the lengthy lists of all we need to do, and all the things we have responsibility for just to make it to the end of the day and break-even—how can we be light to a world in desperate need of that light?
Let me suggest a way. Let me suggest that we don’t need to do anything special or anything more, other than to let the light of Christ shine through us in the everyday moments of our days. For example, let the light of Christ shine…
Through our bright “hello” and soft “goodbye.”
Through our warm smiles and our inclusive laughter.
Through an unexpected kindness or a thoughtful encouraging word.
Through a gentle hug and reassuring word.
Through an apology that is really an apology, and simply says “I’m sorry,” without explanation or qualification.
Through a “Hi, honey!” offered with a lilt in your voice that lifts the spirits on the other end of the line when you answer that phone call from your spouse.
Through an arm on their shoulder, a kiss on their cheek, an affirming word of “good try,” with a readiness to help them do better when your child falls a bit short on a test.
How can we be the light we are called to be when we can’t do it? Brighter still than we might now be. Simple. Let it be Christ which is the light shining through us. So that to others who see us or hear us they will see Christ—because we are letting Him shine, talk and act through us for others.
In the moments when we are hard pressed to be the light He calls us to be because of whatever is going on in our lives—let Him be the light shining through us. Let Him be the sparkle in our eyes, the soft encouraging tone in our voice, the gentle touch, the spring in our step, and the fire in our hearts—for others. Let Him turn the brightness up a bit more. Lives will be better when it happens.
That’s how. It’s never too hard for Him; and He’ll help us when it seems too hard for us to be the light He says we are to be.
Not too hard at all. Not with Him. Not ever.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2016. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.