I would like to get a little personal with you. This is not something I like talking about normally. Not out of fear. Or regret (maybe partially regret). But this comes out of sheer embarrassment. I hit prime elementary school/ almost middle school in the mid 2000s. The coolest of the cool were doing something. Justin Timberlake for instance (along with the infamous denim suit). Blonde. Highlights. Yeah. I did it. I was hot stuff (I still am). Looking back, it isn’t nearly as cool now. Just remember, blonde highlights stuck out in my bright hair.
“This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine.” Given this song is “churchy” and has nothing to do with highlighting your hair. But all of us churched folk have probably heard this. Hid it under a bushel? NAH! Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine! In John 9:5 Jesus Himself says “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” What does light do? It drives out darkness. In a dark room, a single candle can emit enough light to allow you to see. When you camp you light a match to start a fire, to stay warm and see (Light a Match, Start a Fire…get it?). Often we apply letting our light shine to ourselves, when in reality this should be something applied to an entire group…maybe like, the Church? I’ll look to keep our trend of Church in motion. Check out Ephesians 5:8-10:
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light — for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth — discerning what is pleasing to the Lord.”
So as humans, sinful beings working to achieve our own glory, we in ourselves are in darkness. We have no truth of the Father in our hearts, and seek our own pleasure and “dreams”. When we understand/accept/follow Christ (the light of the world) we find our path into light. We receive “goodness, righteousness, and truth” from becoming “the light of the Lord.” We understand what it means to live like Christ. We take the role of Christ in flesh on earth, bringing light to a dark world (pastors say that a lot). So individually, our call to let our let shine is nothing to take lightly (not a pun, just a happy accident). But if you are light, and I am light, and every individual believer is a light, how bright the Church should be! If you’re watching a football game, arena lights would make everything easier to see rather than a flashlight (more light makes everything brighter.)
Look at another verse, friends:
“and if you offer yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted one, then your light will shine in the darkness, and your night will be like noonday.” Isaiah 58:10
What does it mean to be the light? What does it mean to be like Jesus, as a community (Church=community)? Isaiah 58 helps. Serve. Help. Love. When we feed the hungry, and comfort the afflicted one. Who are the hungry, afflicted, etc etc etc? The less fortunate. The oppressed. The hopeless. The homeless. The least of these (Matt 25:40.) Love these people. Fight for those who can’t. Give to those who do not have. Strengthen the weak. Feed the hungry. Black Lives Matter. Blue Lives Matter. Childrens’ lives matter. Elderly lives matter. We see people hurting. We see people thirsting for understanding and empathy. We see a hunger for equality. To say one cause is “unjustifiable” is complete negligence to people’s needs. Like I’ve said before not every group or person is right all the times. Neither am I. But Jesus is. Light is Truth. Light is Compassion. When we walk in light, we drive out darkness. Our light will shine in darkness and night will be like noon. We are obligated to walk in light. If we “follow Jesus” we walk in light.
The Church must be light, even in a world where electricity seems rare.
Light drives out darkness. Love drives out hate.
Be like Jesus. Embrace your light. Eat some pie.