February 10, 2020
Scripture Matthew 5:14-20
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.”
Matthew 5:14-15 NRSV
The human eye can see light at a great distance. A city on a hill can be seen far beyond the horizon, lighting the sky above it. Human vision is very sensitive, spotting a single candle flame miles away. With images of light like these, in just a few verses, Jesus creates a brief parable. The writer of Matthew describes Jesus talking to his followers just after giving the Beatitudes. In challenging and educating those around him, Jesus drew on a remarkable ability we have as human beings, but turns the observation into a story of faith in action.
When you and I make our choices and choose the good, we are living out God’s activity within us. When our lives change because of our belief and our conviction, we can readily act for others. Living our lives in Christ, we will do new things and place ourselves into new areas of service and commitment: feeding the poor, welcoming the stranger, defending those who are persecuted, and training the unskilled to cope with society: reversing poverty, dependency, and promoting responsibility as they earn a decent wage.
With God’s Spirit directing us, we can accomplish so much more than we can imagine. And, in the process of our actions others will recognize that we are acting unselfishly and without concern for self-promotion. This is the life of Christian vocation. Our “good works” will reflect the kingdom of heaven, which has been shown to us in Jesus Christ.
Pray for peace and understanding as we look out into the world, as we honor God’s call and claim on our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ.