You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.Matthew 5:14 (NLT)
Back in 2014, a new website burst onto the scene. It was unlike any other website that the Seventh-day Adventist church had known (or at least received as much publicity). It was a satire website. In other words, it pokes fun at a lot of our SDA quirks. One of its very first articles was about my former home, Milo Adventist Academy.
To summarize the article, the new chaplain of the academy, named “Chet Burner,” (It was ironic that the article was published shortly after my arrival on campus where I served as the pastor and chaplain. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.) decided to hold a candlelight service in the church. During a rousing rendition of “This Little Light of Mine,” the students got carried away and burned the church down. You can read the article here: https://goo.gl/4QkR17
That particular article received a lot of attention, and we even received a fair number of phone calls and emails from well-meaning people wanting to know how they could donate to rebuild the church. After revealing that the article was satire, awkwardness ensued.
This episode, however, is not the “light” that Jesus is talking about in our verse today. Though our churches should be on fire for God, Jesus meant something else. Instead, the light isn’t from the church building. It is from those that make up the church – people, you and me.
God is calling us to bear witness to the amazingness that is the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior, Jesus. When we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, His light, His Spirit, comes into our lives in a spectacular way. But, this light isn’t meant to be selfishly guarded, or stored away from the mass of humanity that inhabits this planet. Instead, He is calling us to let His light shine out of our lives so that all may see and experience the love of God.
So, how do we shine the light of Jesus? Do as Jesus did. Serve others. Love others. Heal the sick. Make peace, not war. Tell others about our God. Share what He has done in each of our lives. Talk about Jesus. In short, there should be no doubt in the minds of others that you are a Christian.
Today, and every day, let the love of God shine, “Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”