Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Letting Our Light Shine

In Matthew 5:14, Jesus says to his disciples: "You are the light of the world." What is our calling as followers of Christ? It is very simply to let his light shine in and through us, so that people will see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. Nothing more dramatic than that.

But we're not the ones doing the good works and therefore deserving the glory. We are to be vessels for God's light, so people will see him. That means abiding in him and resting in his will. He will take care of the rest.

Jesus also told his disciples: "You are the salt of the earth," and followed up with the sobering warning, "but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men (Matthew 5:13)." Imagine going through life being "trampled under foot by men" for our faith, and having it all be for nothing. Our spiritual vitality has to be powerful enough to transform us and those around us. If our faith is just a hollow creed, we're worse off than without it.

But if we can stay close enough to God to maintain our "saltiness," he will take care of all the rest. We don't have to worry about the barriers we face. God will break them down. Even when every foe is aligned against us, we must remember that although we are utterly powerless, he who is in us is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). We are called only to abide in Christ and be vessels for his pure light.

The Interpreter's Bible says:
There is no despair because the group is small: a pinch of salt is effective out of all proportion to its amount. There is no hermit strategy: the disciples are to stay in the world, touching even its unworthy life, if they would redeem it. There is no call to a sensational witness; salt is inconspicuous, ordinary, and admixed with common things.
A sensational witness is not necessary, but the steady light within us is.