Matthew 5:14-16 – You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (NKJV)
I live in a mid-western Canadian city that is very dependent on heavy oil as one of its main resources. There is an upgrader, at the east end of the city, which takes the heavy oil and upgrades it into lighter petroleum products. Part of this plant is a large stack, which comes from the catalytic cracker. At the top of this stack, a flame shoots out, as it burns off waste material. This in itself is not much to see or think about, until one approaches the city at night. At night, as one comes into the city from any direction, the light from this stack can be seen for miles. It always let residents know that we are coming home to our city. Even on foggy or cloudy nights, one can see the glow from miles away.
This glow always reminds me of today's scripture verse. Not only am I reminded of a city not hiding its light, but it also makes me think of the light that I reflect — the light of Christ into the world.
Jesus tells us, as Christians, that we are to let our light shine before others. But I have often wondered: is it our light shining or is it Jesus' light? Are we really like the moon, which reflects the light of the sun? What sort of light do I have to shine into the world?
When we follow Jesus and do as He bids, do we then reflect His light? When we do something good in His name, then the world sees Jesus through us. Others may see our works, but, if they look deeper, they will see why we do those works, and see Jesus in our lives.
So many times, as a Christian, I hear people say, "Why would I want to join a church? They are just a bunch of hypocrites!" And maybe that is the way some of us are seen. Are we seen and heard saying one thing and yet doing something else? Do we say we are doing something in Jesus' name, but really we are doing it for our own glory?
It isn't easy being a Christian in today's world. Some are persecuted, even killed, for being Christian. Some are afraid of the ridicule and scorn that may come with doing something that much of the world thinks is folly. Yet, what else can we do? We must follow our Lord and Saviour's commands if we love and serve Him.
Let us always try our best to reflect the light of Christ, the true light of the world.
Prayer: Jesus, You ask us to be a light to the world, and we want to be that light. But, by ourselves, we are poor lights, like a flashlight with batteries that have almost run down. Energize us, and help us to reflect Your light into a world that is becoming darker and darker. Amen.