Light of the World

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“14 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14-16

Matthew 5:14-16, extracted from Jesus’ enlightening Sermon on the Mount, highlights the transformative influence we, as believers, can exercise. It identifies us as the “light of the world,” compelling us to shine resplendently, living our faith in a manner that mirrors God’s unwavering love and glorious splendour.

In this scripture, “a town built on a hill” and “a lamp put on its stand” are poignant metaphors for the visibility and influence of a believer’s faith and actions. Just as a town on a hill stands visible from afar, and a lamp is set on a stand to radiate light extensively, so should our faith be—visible and impactful. Jesus urges us through these metaphors that our faith shouldn’t be concealed; instead, it should be lived out openly, influencing those around us akin to a city skyline or the warm glow of a lamp.

Our actions bear substantial weight in glorifying God—they are the visible manifestations of our faith and the transformative power of God. As we carry out acts of love, kindness, and integrity, we effectively disseminate God’s light, guiding others towards His abundant grace and bringing honour to His revered name.

A former neighbour of mine, Chris, vividly exemplifies this concept of “letting your light shine”. On a harsh winter day, we noticed an elderly man struggling to shovel his driveway. Despite returning from a demanding day at work, Chris stepped in without hesitation, dedicating over an hour to clear the snow. His spontaneous act of kindness not only aided the elderly neighbour but also ignited a chain of kindness on our street. That day, Chris was the ‘light’ on our street, his noble act mirroring God’s love and compassion.

Can you recall a moment when your actions or words positively impacted someone?

The key to applying this scripture in our daily lives lies in our awareness of how our actions can reflect God’s, eternal love. Small yet sincere acts of kindness, such as assisting a neighbour or sharing words of comfort with someone in distress, can demonstrate our faith. By becoming positive role models in our communities and workplaces, we can ‘shine our light’ more expansively. Finally, openly sharing our faith through words and consistent, loving actions can stimulate inspiration in others and glorify God, truly encapsulating the essence of being the ‘light of the world’.

What does being a “light of the world” signify to you?

Let us bow our heads in prayer.

“Gracious Father, we humbly seek your strength and courage to allow our lights to shine brightly. Assist us in being bold, in demonstrating your love through our actions and words, enabling us to reflect your glory in all our deeds. Inspire us to be beacons of hope and kindness to those around us, and guide us to use our lives to light the path leading to you. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.”

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